Watch CBS News

Students prepare for emotional return to school for first time since Parkland shooting

Parkland students returning to school
Students prepare to return to Stoneman Douglas HS for first time since shooting 02:22

PARKLAND, Fla. -- Students will return to class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday for the first time since 14 students and three educators were killed in the Valentine's Day shooting.

On Tuesday, Parkland father Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was killed, spoke directly to state lawmakers.

"I want to be the last father of a murdered kid, that's ever in this country," he said.

Students Carlos Rodriguez and Lorena Sanabria will join the more than 3,000 students returning to classes for the first time in two weeks.

"Just this morning I was like, 'At this time tomorrow, I'm going to be in school,' and that hit me," Sanabria said. "It is going to be a process."

When they arrive, they won't have a clear view of Building 12, the crime scene. It's now obscured by a fence plastered with posters showing support.

The last time Rodriguez was at school, he recorded fellow students running to take cover.

"It is not going to be the same hallways. It is not going to be the same smiles," he said. "It's definitely going to be rough to be in school knowing that is where 17 people died."

They'll be greeted by principal Ty Thompson, who made a promise to his students.

"I will hug each and everyone of you as many times as you need and I will hold you as long as you need me to," Thompson said.

On Sunday, Thompson embraced students who returned with their parents for an orientation.

Wednesday will be a half day with extra security on campus, and there will be counselors on campus, as well as extra security. But some students say that doesn't make them feel safer.

"All the security and all the guards, it's going to make it harder for us to heal," said Sanabria.

Death toll in Parkland shooting could have been higher 01:22
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.