Parkland students begin new year after shooting, but some still don’t feel safe

Author: CBS News
A bicyclist rides past a sign at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 in Parkland, Fla. Teachers and administrators returned for the first time since the Valentine’s Day shooting that killed several people. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

More than 3,000 students return to class today at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The Florida school has significant security upgrades for the new school year since a gunman killed 17 people in February’s shooting.

The building where the shooting occurred is blocked off by a 12-foot fence, and 34 portable classrooms have been constructed as a replacement. Despite all the changes and extra security measures, students CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz spoke to say they still don’t feel safe.

“It doesn’t make me feel safer, no, not at all. I’m not going to feel safe in school. I don’t feel safe anywhere at this point in my life,” senior class president Jaclyn Corin said. Corin is also a leader among student activists. She spent most of the summer traveling across the country promoting gun reform and voter turnout.

“Until we actually remove these weapons of war from our streets… we’re not going to feel safe. We can have all the security we want, we can have bullet-proof back packs for all I care,” Corin said.

Fifteen-year-old Anthony Borges was shot five times during February’s rampage. He said he is too afraid to go back to school.

“I don’t feel safe because maybe another Nikolas Cruz [could be] there,” Borges said.

Borges’ father said he won’t send his son back until there’s new leadership at the school board.

In the run-up to the new school year, school spirit was already on full display. But superintendent Robert Runcie acknowledged it wouldn’t be easy.

“It will be emotional. It will be difficult, as we remember the victims, their families, faculty and staff, and everyone in this entire community,” Runcie said.

Runcie said that the school students are returning to will be far more secure.

The number of on-campus security personnel has doubled from nine to 18, which includes three armed school resource officers. More security cameras have been installed along with a single entry-point system. Students and staff will be required to wear IDs at all times. Upgrades have also been made to classroom doors so they lock automatically.

Andrew Pollack lost his daughter, Meadow, in the attack. He believes the school board has failed students.

“They’re really just putting a band aid on the situation,” Pollack said.

As students return to school today, Cruz returns to a courtroom for a hearing that may set the date for his trial.

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