Middle Tennesseans join the rest of the country in wondering how such a tragedy could happen in the wake of the school shooting that claimed the lives of 20 students in Connecticut on Friday.
Local parents picked up their children from school Friday afternoon and held them tight.
"When I see my child I'm going to grab her and hug her," one parent told Nashville's News 2.
At Hattie Cotton Elementary many parents came early and waited eagerly to see their kids. News of the Connecticut killings weighed on their hearts and minds.
"My husband saw it online and we said, ‘Oh my gosh! An elementary school?' He said,' Why, why? It's just an elementary school,'" said parent Mary Shelley. "You just don't understand why children so young have to experience such loss and grief in their life. It's not meant to be."
The shooting has caused many parents to question security in their own child's school.
"It makes me nervous because of my kids," said mom Tiffany Jones.
Area principals are trying to reassure parents the best they can.
In a voicemail to parents, Julia Green Elementary School principal, Robin Cayce, told them, "Your child's safety is our primary concern here at Julia Green. Metro schools has widely suggested that we review our security protocol with our faculty and we will do that early next week."
Parents told Nashville's News 2 their children did not learn about the shooting in school, but many parents plan to talk to them about it at home.
"You try to keep them young and just free of such sinful things and hurt and pain but you have to explain a little bit of what goes on," said Shelley.
In light of Friday's events, Metro schools have asked all principals to review their emergency plans with staff.
School psychologists and social workers will be available to talk with local students as needed.