PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – The amount of flowers at an intersection near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School keeps growing as the administration prepares for students to return next week.
Friday morning, teachers and staff returned to the school, more than a week after the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of 17 people at the Parkland High School.
The day was optional but according to the Broward Teachers Union, every faculty member did show up.
“I actually met with one teacher who was a grazed it with a bullet, and you think grazed with a bullet sounds so simple? She has a hole in her arm,” said union President Anna Fusco.
“It was very emotional, very emotional, everybody was hugging and kissing each other, sad, very sad,“ said teacher Evelyn Rosario of the reunion.
“There was hugging. There were tears,” said teacher Jim Gard. “I know I had enough hugs to last me a lifetime.”
The school had a variety of support services on hand including counselors and therapy dogs.
The day started with a breakfast for all and then the teachers and staff were allowed to reconnect and begin the healing process.
“Today is a day where we are really just giving the teachers a day to come back in, to meet with each other, to spend a couple of hours at the school, to receive any services or support that they need. It’s just a day to connect with them, for them to connect with each other, and do what we can to just help in the transition,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.
At a late morning news conference, Runcie was highly critical of President Donald Trump and others who have suggested that teachers and administrators in schools carry firearms.
“I am totally against arming teachers,” Runcie said. “Spend money into adding more school resource officers and law enforcement personnel out there – asking our teachers to carry guns – to me – that’s an easy way out.”
He said that would be the easy, cost-free way out. He said what is needed is greater funding for more school police officers and hardening of school campuses.