Members of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association handed carnations out to students as they entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School two weeks after a former student gunned down 17 people inside the freshman building. A long line of cars bringing people back to the school in Parkland, Fla., was guided by police as dozens of television trucks and vehicles camped out nearby. About 50 armed officers were on hand, and only students, parents, and staff were allowed through a security cordon. The main entrance is covered with a sign saying "Welcome Back Eagles." Students were told to leave their backpacks at home.
Principal Ty Thomas said in a tweet Tuesday that "our focus is on emotional readiness and comfort not curriculum: so there is no need for backpacks. Come ready to start the healing process and #RECLAIMTHENEST." For Madison Geller, Wednesday offered an opportunity to get back into a routine, in spite of her fears, reports the AP. "When I walk in there, I'm going to replay the whole thing in my head. But we have to come here and try to learn," the high school junior said. "This week we will try to be comfortable and get back into the same routine." Angelyse Perez, a senior, said returning offers a chance for everyone to "get through this and be together. But I'm graduating," she said. "I just want to get out of here."