John Gillette's seventh-period earth sciences class was supposed to learn how maps are made.
Instead, the eighth-graders discussed how Gillette was shot to death in front of them at their graduation dance and speculated about what would happen to the suspect, a 14-year-old classmate.Gillette, 48, a father of three, community volunteer and former football hero, was being buried Tuesday with two baseball hats and a football jersey in his coffin.
At least 2,000 people attended a funeral Mass in the athletic field-house where Gillette's daughter, Abby, now plays volleyball for the Edinboro University team.
Little work was done Monday as students returned to James W. Parker Middle School, where Gillette organized the annual dance at which he was shot in the chest and head on Friday night.
"It was a real quiet day," student Dan Crabill said. "No one wanted to say anything. A lot of the teachers were crying."
Lucien Haury, 14, who huddled in a closet with about a dozen friends during the shooting, said lessons were abandoned in all seven of his classes, including one where Gillette was replaced with a substitute.
He said he once wanted to be a geophysicist but will pursue a career as a teacher to honor Gillette.
Counselors were on hand. Superintendent Therese Walter said absenteeism was normal at the middle school and slightly above normal at the nearby high school attended by some of Gillette's former students.
"Today was a test of the human spirit. The day has made us a little humble and a little proud," Walter said.
Andrew Wurst, a bespectacled, aloof student nicknamed "Satan" by his friends, faces homicide charges. Police said he apparently was not targeting Gillette. Two students and a teacher were injured, none seriously, before Wurst was disarmed by a banquet hall owner with a shotgun.