Stoneman Douglas students return to campus for second day of classes following shooting
'Going back to our normal ways will never be the same again,' student says
PARKLAND, Fla. – Thursday marked another emotional day for students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as they returned to the Parkland campus for the second day after the mass shooting that left 17 people dead.
Students are still on a modified bell schedule at the school, being dismissed shortly before noon.
For many, Thursday marks only the third time they've stepped foot on campus since the massacre last month.
Parents once again gathered just outside the school gates to pick their children up.
On Wednesday, students said some classrooms were awfully quiet, while others described hearing stories from classmates who were inside the freshman building where the massacre took place.
Getting the chance to get back in the classroom is still being met with mixed emotions.
"Going back to our normal ways for anyone will never be the same way again," senior David Hogg told ABC News. "It also kind of sucks, because normally when we are on the way to school -- when I turn in -- I see Coach (Aaron) Feis. He's not there today."
"It was the fact that it really settled in that, you know, you weren't going to see your friends again. You weren't going to see them sitting at the same desk," another student, Liam Kiernan, said. "It's slowly starting to hit us. I think we were more excited yesterday because we would see each other again."
Students said the routine of the day made for a more emotional day than Wednesday, when students, teachers and faculty returned for the first time.
"Unfortunately, it took a tragedy to make everybody come together as one and to appreciate one another," student Joseph Swaress said.
The outpouring of support for the school remains strong.
The principal asked for more emotional therapy dogs on campus and more than a dozen of them were brought in.
The dogs made their way through classrooms and made a stop at a yoga class in the hopes of getting students to be open about their grief.
There was an open house over the weekend where families and their children got a chance to walk around the campus ahead of returning to school.
There was a mother who dropped her child off in the morning and waited outside the school until the early dismissal.
Local 10 News also spoke with a father Wednesday who delivered flowers and a card to a teacher who opened the door for his daughter who was trying to escape the gunfire.
The modified schedule will continue through Friday.
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