-- More than 700 teachers and staff members from Charlottesville, Virginia, public schools broke into song Tuesday at a back-to-school convocation just days after protests and deadly violence shook their city.
“It was emotional,” Rachel Wilson, a photography teacher at the high school who posted video of the moment on Facebook, told ABC News. “We’re all still kind of processing what happened here and figuring out how to help our students process it and also continue on with what we need to do as educators.”
The convocation was planned before the protests at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday, according to Beth Cheuk, the community relations liaison for Charlottesville City Schools.
The tone of the event -- which was held on teachers’ first day back for the new school year -- was changed on Monday after a meeting among district officials and school principals.
“They were very emotional as they came together for the first time after the news [and] realized they needed an event where they could meet people where they were,” Cheuk told ABC News.
Charlottesville City Schools will hold its first day of classes on Aug. 23.