With mixed emotions, teachers head back to Stoneman Douglas High

Teachers and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are heading back to campus Friday, more than a week after ...

Posted: Feb 23, 2018 12:12 PM
Updated: Feb 23, 2018 12:12 PM

Teachers and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are heading back to campus Friday, more than a week after 17 people were killed there in a mass shooting.

According to a Broward County Public Schools news release, Friday will be "dedicated to meeting staff members' needs, with a variety of support services." Attendance is not mandatory.

"Instead of students coming, they're just bringing in the staff to have time together, to talk and get emotionally ready," said Anna Fusco, Broward Teachers Union president, adding that teachers' return will be the first time since the shooting that everyone will be together.

The school district's news release said there will be a voluntary campus orientation for all students on Sunday where a "variety of support services" will be available. Students are expected to return for classes on Wednesday.

Stoneman Douglas staff will return Monday and Tuesday for planning days.

The return for staff and teachers was met with mixed emotions. Some are anxious to go back and others are uncertain of their safety, Fusco said.

"They want to be there for their students, just like they were when the shooter came in," she said.

Jim Gard, a math teacher, plans to return Friday.

"It's time to go back," he said. "I want to get back to the students. I want to get back to my classroom and get things going again and realize we're stronger than this."

Gard hopes Friday's staff day helps calm fears. He said Stoneman Douglas' principal, Ty Thompson, "will do everything he possibly can" to make faculty and staff feel comfortable.

"Our staff just needs a lot of reassurances," he said.

Fusco said the freshman building, where the shooting took place, is still a closed crime scene, so those teachers will be relocated, but she and Gard didn't know what else was planned. A Broward County Public Schools spokeswoman did not respond to a request for an interview.

Gard said he's glad staff will be back first, because it will give them a chance to prepare to properly deal with students and address last week's massacre.

"If we want to talk about it we'll talk about it," he said. "I'm certainly not going to avoid it."

Diane Wolk-Rogers, another Stoneman Douglas teacher, has her own way of greeting students upon their return. In a Facebook post to the closed group AP World History Teachers, according to CNN affiliate KCRA, she asked for teachers to write letters of support that will welcome the students on their first day back.

"At the end of the day, just be loving, compassionate and caring (for students)," Fusco said. "This is a first for everyone there and they're not going to have the answers."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 34830

Reported Deaths: 2143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9900581
Lake3639190
Allen166269
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph128634
Hendricks117171
Hamilton116293
Johnson1115109
Madison59359
Porter54328
Bartholomew51535
Clark50541
LaPorte43824
Howard41528
Tippecanoe4143
Jackson3921
Delaware38539
Shelby37322
Hancock34027
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Vanderburgh2822
Morgan28024
Montgomery24517
Noble23721
White2378
Clinton2331
Decatur22431
Grant21323
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18411
Greene16925
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Warrick16628
Monroe16612
Lawrence16524
Kosciusko1501
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Jennings1304
Orange13022
Scott1203
Marshall1112
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Carroll932
Daviess9216
Wayne855
LaGrange842
Steuben842
Wabash792
Fayette787
Newton7810
Jasper681
Jay530
Washington521
Clay511
Fulton491
Randolph483
Rush472
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley433
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Perry330
Brown331
Wells320
Benton310
Huntington282
Knox280
Blackford262
Tipton251
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Adams171
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 121234

Reported Deaths: 5412
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook784953658
Lake8408292
DuPage7765374
Kane6404178
Will5613277
Winnebago229055
McHenry158572
St. Clair115282
Kankakee91548
Kendall80419
Rock Island66124
Champaign6457
Madison59460
Boone46317
DeKalb4184
Sangamon35029
Jackson28910
Randolph2694
Peoria2389
McLean22013
Ogle2113
Stephenson2092
Macon19419
Clinton18617
Union15511
LaSalle15313
Whiteside14213
Iroquois1324
Coles12715
Out of IL1181
Warren1170
Jefferson10116
Knox1010
Grundy992
Monroe9612
Unassigned930
McDonough8911
Lee811
Cass730
Tazewell735
Henry690
Williamson672
Pulaski560
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry410
Vermilion401
Montgomery391
Morgan361
Christian354
Livingston342
Jo Daviess320
Douglas280
Jersey241
Fayette213
Woodford212
Ford201
Menard200
Mason180
Washington180
Hancock170
Mercer170
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll152
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Logan110
Moultrie110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Johnson90
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
Wabash50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 80°
Robinson
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 80°
Indianapolis
Few Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 79°
Rockville
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 78°
Casey
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 80°
Brazil
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 80°
Marshall
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 80°
Sunny and Hot!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events