Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students returned to the school for the first time following the deaths of 17 of their classmates and staff members in a Valentine’s Day mass shooting, prompting an outpouring of support from the Internet.
Thousands of students and parents gathered at the Parkland, Florida, school on Sunday to retrieve belongings that were thrown down in panic during the massacre as well as pay tribute to those who were lost on Feb. 14. The group also met with school officials to go over the details of resuming classes on Wednesday.
One of the students who attended the open house, 16-year-old Rain Valladares, even shared photos from the day of the shooting that she found on a camera she had left on campus. “Today was my first day back at school where I had to retrieve my belongings,” she tweeted alongside shots of three of her classmates. “First thing I did was grab my camera from my bag and check the photos from that day, February 14. I love you three. our lives have changed entirely, how I wish we could all just go back.”
Allies of Stoneman Douglas’ students and staff also shared messages of encouragement and solidarity in the wake of the return. “To those Stoneman Douglas students returning to school today, I stand with you, and i’m sending my love,” wrote one Twitter user. “[And] also to the media, please don’t hang around the school. The students may be suffering acute stress disorder.”
See some of the reactions to the emotional day below.
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