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 Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School

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macks_ant86

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PostSubject: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeThu Mar 01, 2018 3:34 pm

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Parkland, Florida (CNN)Fred Guttenberg lost his daughter Jaime when a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school two weeks ago. On Wednesday, his son went back to school.

Students and teachers returned to class on the Parkland, Florida campus, seeking normalcy after the mass shooting thrust them into the center of the national gun debate.

Guttenberg said it was bittersweet to see his son go back. "I'm not scared because this is now the safest school in America," he told CNN.
But it's still hard, he said. "My son walks in here without his sister. My daughter's friends walk in there. They used to always walk in with my daughter ... and they're walking in there without her."

Administrators hope to ease students back into a routine this week with a modified schedule of half days.

"It was nice to be in class, but it didn't feel like class," senior Kevin Trejo said. "It was just a gathering in a way."
The day began with 17 seconds of silence to remember those they lost.

Students described a roller coaster of emotions as they walked into a school filled with friends, grief counselors and comfort dogs. Throughout campus, posters offered encouraging messages, reminding them "We get courage from each other."

"We know things will never, ever be the same, but we're going to try to figure out how to move forward," Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie said Tuesday after classes ended.

The shooting galvanized a student-led movement calling for stricter gun laws. After two weeks of protests, funerals and vigils, students are contending with how to balance activism with SATs, advanced placement tests and applying to college.

"I think it's hitting us all hard because we have all been so involved with the movement and now we just have to be students," sophomore Tanzil Philip said.

From the start, it was clear things would be anything but normal. The campus was swarming with media, law enforcement officers and flashing patrol cars, and well-wishers passing out flowers.

"It does give me comfort to know we do have more security, but also, it makes me think back to the day," junior Sawyer Garrity said as she sat in her car, waiting in a long line of traffic to enter the school parking lot.

As classes resume, the school is trying to strike a balance between safety and creating a supportive environment, Principal Ty Thompson said. Students were told not to bring backpacks this week, as the focus will be on emotional readiness and comfort, not curriculum, he said.

Building 12, where most of the massacre occurred, remains closed off behind emergency tape with its windows covered. The absence of the building forced administrators to shuffle classes around and clubs to move to new locations.

For many students, it was cathartic to reunite with friends and teachers they had not seen in two weeks, senior Demetri Hoth said. Some wanted to dive straight into classes, but many more preferred to take it slowly, he said.

"Our minds aren't there yet to talk about math and statistics and science," Hoth said.

Teachers made the transition easier by asking students how they wanted to proceed, Hoth said. "I think we're still not sure yet," he said.

In his AP literature and composition class, students stood in a circle, passing lines of string among each other as they shared their feelings in a visual metaphor for coping within the community.

"The end goal was to show how we are all connected and how we can count on each other," he said.

Students decorated empty desks with flowers and mementos in honor of the victims. One desk in Trejos' AP literature class was decorated with flowers and the University of Florida Gator for Carmen Schentrup, who would have turned 17 on February 21.

Trejos sat behind her and next to another student who was missing from class Wednesday because he's still recovering, he said.

The class felt said the class felt empty, not only without her, but because of students who are still recovering from gunshot wounds.
"It was tough, she just wasn't there," he said. "The days don't feel real anymore."

Teachers passed out comforting items such as Play-Doh and coloring books, said Garrity, who received a stuffed bunny she named Quincy.

The night before, Garrity video-chatted with friends to ease their nerves. Her fellow drama club member, Isabela Barry, played her guitar. Since the shooting, Barry has had trouble sleeping in the dark. To alleviate anxiety, the two had "a virtual sleepover" Tuesday night, leaving their computer cameras on as they slept.

The girls met outside the school and walked in together with their friend Ashley Paseltiner. By the day's end, the girls said the sense of community lifted their spirits.

"We got through it together," Paseltiner said. "We've just got to keep going, remember the people that we lost and make the most of what we have here."

The shooting sparked nationwide debate over gun laws and mass shootings. Runcie commended the students for keeping the subject at the forefront of the conversation as they grapple with their own trauma.

"We continue to be inspired and amazed at our students and how well they responded to this, how they provided leadership on a national level to bring attention to some very salient issues that have emerged from this tragedy," he said.

Survivors and victims' families have not let the issue fade, even as the push for new regulation appears to lose momentum at federal and state levels.

"The thing that makes me the most mad is even after two weeks, even after two weeks of all of this, not a single bill has been passed in the state or federal level," student David Hogg said Wednesday. "All we have now is more guns and more chances for things to go wrong."

Discussions about how to keep the movement alive rumbled through classrooms Wednesday, English teacher Darren Levine said.
As he tried to plan the rest of the year's curriculum, conversations kept turning to marches planned for March 24.

"That's on a lot of their minds, because we don't want to let this movement die."
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Jea

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PostSubject: Re: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeThu Mar 01, 2018 3:47 pm

I hope all these kids gonna have help from the crisis psychologists, because I can't even imagine how you gonna back that school after all you have seen.

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PostSubject: Re: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeThu Mar 01, 2018 4:28 pm

Jea wrote:
I hope all these kids gonna have help from the crisis psychologists, because I can't even imagine how you gonna back that school after all you have seen.

I think its standard for counselors to be made available for students and staff for a little while after something like this. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeThu Mar 01, 2018 4:53 pm

ShadowedGoddess wrote:
Jea wrote:
I hope all these kids gonna have help from the crisis psychologists, because I can't even imagine how you gonna back that school after all you have seen.

I think its standard for counselors to be made available for students and staff for a little while after something like this. Sad
That is good, because here, in my land, we don't have such opportunity.

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PostSubject: Re: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeThu Mar 01, 2018 5:58 pm

Seems the media haven't learned lessons either since columbine to keep their noses out. These kids are trying to return to normalcy, it's anything but with the amount of reporters you see outside in the video (in the link). Kids these days don't need to talk to the media, they can publicise their thoughts on social media if they choose to. It's easy to see why they may feel pressured to speak to someone with a camera standing outside the school.
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PostSubject: Re: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeThu Mar 01, 2018 6:44 pm

hey kids were your friends ans fellow students murdered? lol who tf cares go back to class so we canb get money
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PostSubject: Re: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeFri Mar 02, 2018 4:36 am

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Armed guards, counselors, bitter memories greet students' return to scene of Florida school shooting

PARKLAND, Fla. — More than 3,000 students — or 95% of the school — returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School here Wednesday for the first time since a gunman claimed 17 lives in the halls on Valentine's Day. They were greeted by grief counselors, therapy dogs, an outpouring of support from teachers — and about 50 heavily armed police officers.

The counselors and friendly animals were there “to provide a lot of love, a lot of understanding” and to help students “ease back” into their school routines, said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.

The heavily armed police were there to provide protection and reassurance, but the sight of weapons on campus was an eerie reminder to some of what they had endured.

“This is a picture of education in fear in this country. The NRA (National Rifle Association) wants more people just like this, with that exact firearm to scare more people and sell more guns,” said David Hogg, who has become a leading voice in the students’ movement to control assault weapons. “I know one of those bullets could be shredding through me if I was misidentified as a school shooter,” he added.

One common feature of an American high school was missing: backpacks, like one used by expelled student Nikolas Cruz to smuggle in his AR-15, assault weapon two weeks ago. Principal Ty Thomas said in a tweet that “our focus is on emotional readiness and comfort not curriculum: so there is no need for backpacks.”

It was an emotional — almost surreal — moment for students, staff, police, parents and teachers as they passed through a security cordon against a backdrop of cars circling the school amid a long line of TV trucks and media vans.

Runcie said 3,123 students showed up, only about 170 fewer than on a normal day, for an attendance of 95%. On Wednesday, and for the remainder of the week, only a half-day of classes was scheduled to help students ease back into their old routine.

The superintendent said 150 counselors were on hand to listen and provide emotional support, along with 40 therapy dogs and other animals as requested by staff. Also on hand were principals from other Broward County schools in a show of solidarity.

But the signs of the mass shooting were also in evidence. In the empty seats of students killed in the melee were candles, teddy bears or flowers.

A group of residents sang Let it Shine outside the school; crossing guards and local officers hugged students and welcomed them back.

Parents, friends and neighbors lined the sidewalks holding signs of encouragement, like "We stand with you." Someone brought a pony and a sign promising: "Free pony kisses."

A “Welcome Back Eagles” banner covered the main entrance, and the walkway leading onto the campus was lined with flowers, photographs and other memorials to those killed.

Wednesday’s class schedule started with fourth period, so that students and teachers could return to the people they were with during the shooting. The freshman building where the massacre took place remained cordoned off.

Candace Caine dropped her daughter off at school and said she was counting the minutes until she could see her again. “She struggled last night and couldn’t sleep. She was moaning and groaning the whole time we were getting to school but she did it," she said.

Her daughter, Maddy King, is a sophomore and was in the freshman building where the 19-year-old Cruz, a former student, opened fire.

While it was tough to let her daughter go, she has faith they will find a new normal. “I’m worried about her and the things she saw and her description of the event was from out of a movie,” Caine said. “We’ll just take it day by day.”

Casey Sherman, a 17-year-old junior, told the Associated Press she thought the schedule was a good idea so kids can “get it over with,” and not worry about it all day. Up until 11:30 p.m. the night before working on preparations for the March 14 national school walkout against gun violence, she said she wasn't afraid to be return, "just nervous."

"We did go through a tragedy," said Sherman, who walked in holding hands with her boyfriend. "It was terrible but if you let it stop you ... it's not how you go down, it's how you get back up."

It was a school transformed since Cruz began his rampage near the end of classes on Feb. 14. Over seven minutes, after pulling a fire alarm, the gunman killed 14 students and three teachers before casually fleeing.

Cruz, known as a troubled student with a series of encounters with police and social workers over his erratic behavior, was apprehended nearby and charged with multiple counts of premeditated murder.

The ordeal hurled the school into the center of a heated debate over how to stop a a seemingly endless series of mass shootings.

It thrust students like Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and Cameron Kasky into the national spotlight as they ignited a nationwide movement by young people calling for gun control measures and an end to mass killings. Almost overnight, they organized marches for March 24 in Washington and around the country and turned up at televised debates with senators and and on national TV.

After the whirlwind, Wednesday was a time for classes and an attempt to restore some normalcy.

Douglas sophomore Charlotte Dixon said some of her friends are having a hard time returning to classes. But they are encouraged by the attention to gun laws their actions have brought.

“I’m so glad that people are stepping forward and talking about keeping it relevant … because it shouldn’t happen to anyone ever again,” Dixon said.

In Tallahassee, relatives of the Stoneman Douglas victims kept up the pressure in Florida’s capital on Tuesday with emotional testimony during a legislative hearing to discuss passing a bill that would, among other things, raise the age limit to buy long guns from 18 to 21.

The bill also would create a program that allows teachers who receive law-enforcement training and are deputized by the local sheriff’s office to carry concealed weapons in the classroom, if also approved by the school district. The school’s superintendent has spoken out firmly against that measure.

Florida's House Appropriations Committee’s 23-6 vote in favor of the bill Tuesday followed more than four hours of emotional discussion with the parents of some of the 17 killed, and nearly two weeks of activism by students on social media and in televised debates.

Gov. Rick Scott, who met with officials in Miami-Dade County, told reporters that he hopes a gun and school-safety bill is passed before March 9, the end of Florida’s annual legislative session. He had proposed measures that overlap with the legislature’s plan but did not include arming teachers. However, he declined to say Tuesday whether he would veto the sweeping package if it included that provision.

The Florida Senate’s version of the school-safety bill was approved by a second committee on a 13-7 vote Tuesday evening. Sen. Bill Galvano, who is designated to become the next Senate president and is ushering through the bill, said the earliest it will be considered by the full Senate is Friday.

Marion Hammer, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association and Unified Sportsmen of Florida, told the House Appropriations Committee that she supports tightening school security and keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, but not the House bill’s gun-ownership restrictions, which she later said would not have stopped the Parkland shooting.

“Part of what we need to do is make people understand that guns are not the problem,” she said after the hearing, the AP reported. “So passing more laws dealing with guns as a solution to a problem that exists within the enforcement of laws is just kind of silly.”

student & parent interview

Parents confront lawmakers on guns
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PostSubject: Re: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeFri Mar 02, 2018 4:56 am

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'How Many More Do I Have to Lose?' Read This Heartbreaking Poem From a Florida School Shooting Survivor

A survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, shared on social media a poem by his sister, who turned 15 on the day of the shooting that killed 17. The poem is going viral on Twitter as Americans continue to turn to the young survivors of the school shooting to understand the tragedy.

“My sister turned 15 the day of the shooting,” Matt Deitsch posted on Twitter early on Wednesday. “She has had a hard time finding her voice in all of this and asked me to share this poem with you. On the night before my sister returns to MSD, It would mean a lot if you could read her poem.”

In the poem, “MSD shooting poem: My experience,” Samantha Deitsch writes about hiding in a closet after the gunfire erupted, as well as texting her mother and a friend, Jaime Guttenberg, who died in the shooting. She also writes about her family’s new dog, a pet she got “in order to cope,” named “Misty” after the school’s initials “MSD.”

“Yes indeed I turned 15 this day/ Goodbye is something to my classmates I never got to say/ I lost too many friends thanks to Nikolas Cruz/ Until gun policy changes how many more do I have to lose?” she writes.

The poem has been retweeted more than 5,500 times and has received more than 16,000 likes.

Students are returning to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on Wednesday, two weeks after the shooting.

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PostSubject: Re: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeMon Sep 26, 2022 3:14 pm

She shouldn't have mentioned Nikolas Cruz in her poem.
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PostSubject: Re: Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School   Students return to Marjory Stoneman High School Icon_minitimeYesterday at 12:11 am

I cant imagine having to go to the same school you experienced a mass shooting at, the same place you couldve been killed at. Sad These kids are strong

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