World Bulletin / News Desk
Students grieving for slain classmates prepared for an emotional return Wednesday to their Florida high school, where a mass shooting shocked the nation and led teen survivors to spur a growing movement to tighten America's gun laws.
"Looking forward to tomorrow Eagles! Remember our focus is on emotional readiness and comfort not curriculum: so there is no need for backpacks," school principal Ty Thompson tweeted.
"Come ready to start the healing process and #RECLAIMTHENEST."
Some students were filled with trepidation about the day ahead.
"It's a whole different bunch of emotions. I'm scared but I'm also happy to get back to a sense of normalcy," 16-year-old Tanzil Philip told AFP.
"I just don't know how I will feel until I get back in there without my parents and we are all sitting down."
Philip was among several students allowed into the building over the weekend, when the shock of seeing his school "frozen in time" from when the killings occurred hit home.
"I'm a little nervous. But we have to be strong in these kind of situations because we are family and we are all in this together," added student Jenna Korsten, 17, who was at the school when the shooting erupted but escaped unhurt.
Survivors of the Valentine's Day assault have emerged as impassioned young advocates for gun safety.
Several spent Monday and Tuesday on a grim but vital mission in Washington: urging US lawmakers to curb or end sales of semi-automatic weapons like the one that was used to slaughter their fellow students.
Democrats hailed the young activists as an inspiration. But even with polls showing overwhelming public support for stricter gun laws, it would be a steep climb to achieve dramatic changes to gun laws in a Republican-dominated Congress.
Among Republicans, there was little enthusiasm for legislative action beyond closing gaps in a national background check system, a move supported by President Donald Trump.
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