Florida school shooting survivors emotional return to Stoneman Douglas



Students return to Stoneman Douglas ahead of reopening

The students attended a voluntary orientation for the official reopening on Wednesday.

For the first time since 17 people were killed on their school campus on Valentine’s day, students, parents and teachers an emotional return Sunday for a volunteer orientation at marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in parkland, Florida.

The thousands of students returned to a campus covered with signs, balloons, flowers and memorials in honor of their classmates, teachers and friends who were shot dead in one of the deadliest massacres in modern AMERICAN history.

Seventeen people dressed as angels stand on Sunday, Feb. 25, b-2018, on the memorial outside of marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in parkland, Fla., for those killed in a shooting on Feb. 14.

(AP Photo/Terry Spencer)

The members of the Stoneman Douglas community who are scheduled to meet with administrators to discuss the school’s re-opening scheduled for Wednesday — seem to have mixed feelings about their return.

Mikayla Strabitz, while set on “making a change,” he told WSVN they are “afraid to go back.”

“I don’t know if I could feel safe again in a school”, Strabitz said. “In particular, to know that there are so many inputs to that school and not know how Nikolas Cruz got in, that is a scary thing.”

The students say that they don’t expect anyone to return to the campus, simply because I know that a lot of people were in the first building, so go back and not be able to go to those classes, see their class mates will hit them.”

Parents and students at marjory Stoneman Douglas high School for an open house on Sunday, feb. 25, 2018, in the Park, Fla., if the parents and the students back to the school for the first time in more than a dozen were killed on Feb. 14.

(David Santiago/Miami Herald, via AP)

During his return to Stoneman Douglas on Sunday, Liam Kiernan, 15, brought his father to the band room closet where he hid the shooting occurred.

“I walked in and showed him, that is where I was,” Kiernan told the Miami Herald. His father, David, told the newspaper, the breaking of his voice: “It was tough. So tough.”

Going back to school for the first time…this movement is for the 17 ❤️

— Jaclyn Corin (@JaclynCorin) 25 February 2018

In addition to showing his father the fateful place where he hid more than 30 others were shot, Liam said he saw the teacher who saved his life and gave him a big hug. That was definitely a moment.”

“I’m afraid to get back. I am glad to get back. I think we should be — it would be nice for us all to be together.”

– Jim Gard, a teacher at marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Another student, 16-year-old Janna Volz, told the Herald that while “it was still nerve-wracking” to be back on campus Sunday, she is ready to return to school.

Student Cameron Kasky, who has become a prominent figure of the students “#NeverAgain” the gun control movement after the shot, echoed Volz the sentiment, tweeting Sunday that it is “good to be home.”

It is GOOD TO BE HOME #MSDStrong #NeverAgain #MarchForOurLives

— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) 25 February 2018

Teacher Jim Gard, who told Fox News in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 massacre that the shooter was a mathematics student, said he was “anxious” to return to his school.

“I’m afraid to get back. I am glad to get back,” Gard told WSVN. “I think we should be — it would be nice for us all to be together.”

Mourners pay tribute at a monument for the victims of the shooting at marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday, feb. 25, 2018, in the Park, Fla.

(David Santiago/Miami Herald, via AP)

Freshman Kailey Brown expressed a similar attitude, told The Associated Press last week that she is not afraid to return to school.

“I plan to come back strong with my friends and show them that we love each other so much and we are going through,” Brown, who was in the building where the shooting took place, said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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