Some students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stayed home -- for many reasons

Nearly 20% of the student population didn't show up Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after two fello...

Posted: Mar 22, 2018 10:13 AM
Updated: Mar 22, 2018 10:13 AM

Nearly 20% of the student population didn't show up Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after two fellow students were charged with bringing weapons to campus, another made a threat of violence on social media and a security guard was found asleep in his car.

Gov. Scott offers extra security at MSD

Many said they had already planned to take the day off to prepare for their trip to Washington, on Thursday, ahead of the March for Our Lives rallies planned for Saturday. Friday is a teacher workday at the high school in Parkland, Florida, giving students an extra day in their spring break, which goes through April 1.

But others are staying away due to the stress and fear they still feel more than a month after 17 people were killed at the school by a former student -- especially after the arrests Tuesday, and the fact that the gunman's brother, Zachary Cruz, was allegedly caught trespassing on the Stoneman Douglas campus on Monday. He appeared in court Tuesday for that offense.

Out of a student population of roughly 3,280 students, 724 were absent first period Wednesday and 646 were absent second period, according to Broward County Schools spokeswoman Nadine Drew; that's about 21.9% and 19.5% of the student body, respectively.

CNN reporters and producers have been talking and corresponding with some students on social media. Here's what they're saying about their decision to go -- or not go -- to school.

These are the victims of the Florida school shooting

Sammy Feuerman, 17, senior

Feuerman, whose best friend, Joaquin Oliver, died in the February 14 massacre, was among those who didn't go to school. He's not sure it's safe enough to go back yet.

"I need to see it to believe it, that's when I go back," he said about security measures at Stoneman Douglas.

Jack Macleod, 16, junior

Macleod did go to school, but was late.

"I definitely feel even less safe than I did before. It's absolutely ridiculous," he said.

"I feel pretty upset. They piled the campus with cops the days we first came back, but no one was in danger. Then this cop falls asleep, and a (student) threatens someone with a knife, someone hops the fence, and someone posts threatening Snapchats. I don't think that the cop falling asleep is connected, it just annoys me."

After hearing about the school shooting in Maryland on Tuesday in which that school's resource officer contained the student gunman, he said he feels like "something is wrong with law enforcement right now." The resource officer at Stoneman Douglas the day of the shooting was suspended after he failed to confront the gunman, though the officer's attorney said he didn't know exactly from where the gunshots were coming.

Kevin Trejos, 18, senior

Trejos, who went to school, said he doesn't understand why anyone thinks it's a good idea to bring a knife to school.

"We are clearly told it's not allowed, whether it's a paring knife or a knife for security."

He also feels like the resource officers at his school "have dropped the ball."

"I often saw them conversing among themselves or being practically asleep in their cars. Up until now, they were not even checking the people who were coming in through the other exits, they just let us walk in without question."

What you should know about the March for Our Lives

Demitri Hoth, 18, senior

Hoth had already planned to stay home Wednesday to prepare for his trip to Washington.

When asked how he felt about security at school before the shooting, he said, "It's scary to know that at any given point in time a person can come onto campus and just hurt somebody."

Connor Deitrich, 17, junior

The students are on edge at school, Deitrich said. He decided to attend school but the atmosphere is tense.

"I mean, we're all just going about our usual day trying to get through the school day, but security is upped and a lot of media is back, so it was kind of nerve-racking coming into school."

As for the report about the deputy sleeping on the job, he said, "A lot of us are angry that we were failed twice now by school officers."

Kai Koerber, 16, junior

"Things have an atmosphere of immense tension," he said Wednesday after he got to school.

"We understand that police protection is absolutely necessary given what we experienced, but nevertheless, a tremendous police presence in a place of learning where everyone is supposed to feel safe makes everyone uneasy. We are all at a crossroads between feelings of security and fear."

Julia Salomone, 18, senior

She and her sister almost didn't go to school, Salomone said.

"But we pushed through and are trying to make it through the day. It's hard to not let fear rule your life when constant reasons not to feel safe keep appearing."

"Things feel tense -- students already feel uncomfortable being in school. We already don't feel safe because of what happened, and recent events just add to the fear we already have."

Jeff Foster, AP government teacher at Stoneman Douglas

Foster said he heard at a rally Tuesday night that a lot of kids were planning to stay home.

"Kids aren't scared, they are just tired of all this. (They) want to get back to normal. Spring break is coming at the right time!"

The teacher said the majority of his students are headed to the march in Washington and are really looking forward to time away.

Rebecca Boldrick, mother of students David and Lauren Hogg

Boldrick said her daughter, Lauren, stayed home. Lauren lost four friends in the February 14 shooting.

"I wasn't comfortable with her going to school today, but she was insisting. And then when we were driving to school and the helicopter was flying over, she decided she didn't want to go, saying she felt like her school was a prison."

Tuesday was a crazy day at school for Lauren, her mom said.

"Since they arrested Nikolas Cruz's brother for trespassing last night and the principal told us they did an entire bomb sweep of the campus, there were helicopters overhead all day, causing extreme anxiety to kids like my daughter. She associates the sound of a helicopter with the shooting."

Superintendent sends letter to parents

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie on Wednesday sent a letter to school district parents concerning safety concerns and the district's efforts to expand safety protocols.

He said the district is upgrading real-time surveillance camera systems at all schools, is asking law enforcement agencies to evaluate protocols for drills and is moving toward having a single point of entry for campus visitors.

"While we cannot change the heartbreaking and senseless act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, by working together, we can change the future. All students deserve safe schools," Runcie wrote.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 101731

Reported Deaths: 3673
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18483525
Cuyahoga13640500
Hamilton9689255
Lucas5377323
Montgomery439894
Summit3573223
Butler294463
Marion292945
Mahoning2566254
Pickaway238742
Stark1844139
Warren180339
Lorain180278
Columbiana166560
Trumbull1534107
Fairfield140032
Delaware131619
Licking129949
Clark115814
Lake112438
Wood105858
Clermont94111
Medina93035
Miami85338
Tuscarawas78814
Portage76561
Allen76044
Greene70312
Mercer62513
Belmont62126
Richland60812
Erie59227
Ashtabula57446
Geauga55844
Wayne54458
Ross4904
Darke40229
Huron4015
Ottawa39026
Madison38810
Sandusky38417
Hancock3793
Athens3591
Holmes3286
Lawrence2880
Auglaize2566
Union2541
Muskingum2391
Jefferson2342
Scioto2341
Seneca2223
Putnam20817
Knox2067
Washington20522
Preble2042
Shelby2004
Coshocton1946
Champaign1782
Crawford1745
Morrow1722
Hardin16912
Clinton1656
Highland1591
Logan1552
Ashland1493
Defiance1484
Wyandot1488
Fulton1471
Brown1382
Perry1363
Williams1353
Guernsey1187
Hocking1189
Henry1172
Fayette1150
Carroll1105
Monroe9318
Pike770
Jackson750
Van Wert721
Paulding700
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs500
Vinton312
Morgan280
Harrison261
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 68°
Isolated Showers Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events