Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility
Close Alert

Teachers return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas for the first time

Teachers return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas for the first time. (WPEC)
Teachers return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas for the first time. (WPEC)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon

Teachers returned to Stoneman Douglas High School for the first time Friday since a gunman killed 17 people on Valentine’s day.

“For me it was cathartic. It felt good to be back because this is my home,” said teacher Elizabeth Smith.

The school is now a broken home for teachers like Elizabeth Smith.

A home she returned to Friday for the first time since a gunman killed 17 people last Wednesday.

She’s ready to be with her students again.

“They need us as much as we need them. To fill the halls again back with the love and back with the eagle pride is going to be nice.”

For other teachers it wasn’t as easy to return to their classrooms that are now filled with so much pain.

“Would you go back? Would you be able to go back in there? Would you?”’

A variety of support services were available to the teachers as they met for breakfast and collected their belongings.

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said the campus is almost ready for the students.

“Our maintenance and facilities folks have been working diligently since the past weekend to get the school ready. They’ve been power washing, painting, doing repairs to doors. They’ve been replacing glass to get this school into tip top shape once they return,” said Runcie.

Students won’t return to school until Wednesday, and even then will be on a modified schedule.

“It’s a week of transitioning. It’s a week of folks coming together, reconnecting and going through the healing process as we open school and work to get back to some level of normalcy for our students, teachers, and our community,” said Runcie.

When the students do return they’ll spot deputies carrying rifles on school grounds.

Runcie said it’s only a short term solution.

“If we really want to do something, spend money on adding more school resource officers and law enforcement personnel out there. Asking our teachers to carry guns to me is an easy way out. You don’t spend any money. You don’t spend any resources on it,” said Runcie.

Runcie said many of the students are ready to return to school.

“They want to be back together with their peers. They want to be back together with their Stoneman Douglas family. As they said they’re MSD strong and they want to show that in this coming week,” said Runcie.

There are students that may not want to return.

“Any student and any faculty member that truly does not want to come back to this school we will work with them to transfer them to another school in Broward county,” said Runcie.

No students will return to building 12 where the massacre happened.

Runcie said tearing down and rebuilding it will cost around $28 million dollars.

Support counselors will also be on hand when the students return.

Loading ...