Star power at first full day back at Stoneman Douglas High School

The first full day of school at Stoneman Douglas was marked with visits from high-profile guests. (WPEC)

Basketball star Dwyane Wade and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos met with students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on their full day of class following the loss of 17 of their peers.

“It was a very sobering, very inspiring visit,” said Secretary DeVos, “I was just there to to be there to be with them.”

In the wake of the tragedy, students from Stoneman Douglas have actively fought for gun control, even rallying in Tallahassee. They want a ban on assault rifles. Sebastian Benitez, a student, echos that sentiment.

“That is military weapon and there is no reason for that to be on the streets," said Sebastian.

A majority of the students also stand against arming teachers with guns.

“I don’t think that is a good idea,” explained Benitez, “because there could always be that one teacher that doesn’t follow the rules and something crazy could happen.”

Secretary DeVos said she never spoke with students about the issue, but recently came under fire for a comment she made seemingly supporting arming teachers. Wednesday she responded saying, “Let’s be clear. I think to say simply arming teachers is a oversimplification and a mischaracterization.”

Secretary Devos said it’s up to every community and the state to determine how, and if, they want to place armed personnel on school campuses. Devos referenced Polk County, and stated, “I think that’s a model that can be adopted and should be an option for schools or states or communities. Certainly not one that needs to be required or mandated for every community.”

Secretary DeVos told students she would come back to have another listening session with them. No dates have been set yet.

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