Anxiety looms as students prepare to return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Students cope with terrifying memories as they go back to campus

PARKLAND, Fla. – Eden Hebron was in class when Nikolas Cruz used an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle to shoot and kill her best friend, Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, who was among the 17 victims of the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Eden is planning on going back to school when the Parkland campus reopens Wednesday. The building where the shooting happened will be closed and near it there will be a growing memorial with flowers, balloons, teddy bears, candles and religious symbols.

"I don't know how I am going to look at that building," Eden wrote. "It all replays in my head."

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, school board members and Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies were at the school to welcome back the teachers who returned Monday. Runcie said the students will also get a lot of support. 

Some students haven't had time to deal with emotions. They have been busy going to funerals and protests. Some have been answering questions from reporters. Others have traveled to Washington, D.C., and Tallahassee in an effort to lobby for gun control and preventive policies. 

Eden has been grieving, but she hasn’t been alone. She got to meet Demi Lovato, as the star kicked off her Tell Me You Love Me world tour in San Diego. She also met DJ Khaled. She is seeing a counselor and she is still writing poetry. 

Here is her most recent poem:


By Eden Hebron

Multiple times I had seen it on TV,
but never in a million years I would think it would happen to me.
You watch videos and you check the news, 
but watching first hand has left an internal bruise. 

I can’t understand why I am alive. 
They were such good kids and were bound to thrive. 
Why did they have to go so soon?
All the talk about theories, they all just assume. 

The people I saw every day, 
I wish I could share with them what I want to say. 
The people I laughed with every time 
are no longer here because of a preventable crime. 

I used to write poems for a grade in that class
Now I am writing to try and explain the past:
How we were writing an essay in our chairs, 
then realized we are now living our nightmares.


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