MIAMI – Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, returned to class Wednesday amid tight security measures after a 19-year-old former student wielding an assault rifle massacred 17 people there on Feb. 14.
Early in the morning, the visibly flustered students entered the school – some in tears and visibly distressed – as members of the large police contingent on hand ushered them inside giving them words of encouragement.
Dozens of students, parents, neighbors and alumni from other schools and other police departments congregated at the main entrance holding flowers and trying to give the students support.
“It’s good to be back,” one student told EFE. “It was time.”
A number of people holding posters with messages of encouragement and solidarity – as well as messages supporting tighter gun control – crowded around the entrance of the Parkland school in Broward County, north of Miami.
Although the students returned to class, psychological experts and counselors will be on hand to speak with them about the shooting and provide support for anyone requiring it.
Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old confessed shooter, entered the school two weeks ago armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and within a few minutes killed 14 students and three teachers and wounded more than a dozen other people.
Cruz is currently being held without bail in the Broward County Jail and faces 17 counts of premeditated murder.