More positive artwork now for Sandy Hook student

Anthony Johnson has the story
December 14, 2013 3:35:13 PM PST
Cyrena Arokieum is a bright-eyed 8-year-old, using her love of drawing to show her holiday excitement. Art is her way of expressing her feelings. But this picture is far different from the words and raw emotions she was displaying following the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School

"I heard noise pow, pow, pow. We thought it was our custodian dropping something...that's it," Cyrena said.

Until that moment, Cyrena felt safe in her second-grade classroom, where creativity was celebrated.

"We were doing arts and crafts in our class. We were making snow flakes," she recalled.

Suddenly, the entire class was huddled in a corner away from the closed door.

"We had to kneel down and my classmates and my friends were scared. I was scared too...because we didn't know what was going on," Cyrena said.

The gunman close by was targeting teachers, administrators, and students. Cyrena's teacher saw some helpless kids and pulled them to safety.

The classroom remained quiet until police told them to come out covering their eyes.

Cyrena's artwork suggests she witnessed more than a child should ever see. Maybe she witnessed more than a child should ever see. Maybe she saw a little, or maybe it was too much.

"Ummmmm..,.I don't want to talk about it," she said.

For months Cyrena flashed sad messages when she was asked how she feels.

Now this energetic eight-year-old is trying to turn things around. Her ever watchful mother admirers her resilient child.

"I look up to her. As a Mom I look up to her. If she can do this, I can do anything," her mom, Satra, said.

However, this tragic anniversary is bringing back some sad memories.

"One year later it is still fresh. It is still fresh. It will definitely take time," Satra said.

A mental health expert suggests 16% of the kids from Sandy Hook could suffer from Post Traumatic stress syndrome. An interesting note, some kids who were locked down further away from the shooting are now having a tougher time dealing with the shooting mentally than those who were close to the gunfire.