CHICAGO (CBS) — A French multicultural and bilingual school in Chicago was remembering the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris on Monday, as students returned to class for the first time since at least 129 people were killed in a series of shootings and bombings in France’s capitol.
Lycée Français de Chicago observed a moment of silence at 1 p.m. Monday. A memorial in front of the school has been placed outside the school, where kids have dropped off flowers in remembrance of the victims.
They’re young, but aware of the pain and hurt caused by Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
In a profound a message directed to the terrorists, they proclaimed “You can Never Win. You are Full of Hate. We are Full of Love.”
“I’m telling them the things, how it is. So I’m not hiding anything. It’s the truth we live in, so I wanted them to know exactly what happened,” said Axelle Horstnann a mother of two students at Lycée Français.
She stopped at the memorial Monday morning to take pictures to send to her family in Paris.
“We were living in one of the streets where the shooting occurred, so it was our last address in Paris,” she said. “My kids were raised there, so it touches us.”
The school has increased security as a precaution in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. Barricades have been set up near the entrance. Chicago police and uniformed guards were inside the school Monday morning, keeping a close eye on the facility.
“The first thing that we said to them, that we will say to them is that here they are secure when they’re at school. They are secure, and they should not worry,” principal Eric Veteau said.
Teachers will provide both time and space in class for kids to ask questions and share their thoughts.
“We ask them speak together, to stay together, because together you are strong,” Vetau said. “You can’t have something more cruel than what happened.”
Veteau said many at the school have ties to Paris. His own son and daughter live there.
During the moment of silence Monday afternoon, students will listen to the song “Imagine” by John Lennon.
The school’s website has helpful information on how to talk to your children about the attacks.