A heavy police presence and a steady stream of well-wishers — some with two legs and some with four — were on hand Wednesday morning as students returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High for the first day of classes since the school shooting two weeks ago that killed 17 people and injured 15 others.
Daniela Ortiz, 17, passed hundreds of law enforcement officers on her walk to campus. Some were riding horses, others had their K-9 units with #MSDStrong bandanas on, and a few had bulletproof vests.
Daniela said she hadn’t heard her alarm clock go off in awhile. But when her alarm rang Wednesday morning, she was prepared to face the day.
“I’m ready to go into the day and do this with all my friends and all my teachers and all my classmates,” she said. “It’s hard but we’re doing it.”
Her mother, Claudia Ortiz, said the family prayed together before coming to campus in the morning. Just before Daniela crossed the street to start the day, her parents each gave her a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“I can’t wait to come pick her up today,” Claudia Ortiz said.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.