Pupils return to Florida high school two weeks after Valentine's Day shooting

Uniformed police and grief counsellors met returning students to the school. Credit: PA

Lessons have resumed at the Florida school which suffered an attack by a gunman on Valentine's Day, leaving 17 students and staff dead.

Suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz, an expelled former pupil of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has been charged with 17 counts of murder.

Students returning to the Parkland school were met with a banner over the main entrance which read "Welcome Back Eagles", while the path leading onto the school campus was lined with flowers, photographs and other memorials to the those killed.

Some of the returning pupils were those injured in the attack, but even those who were not physically injured have told of the emotional trauma they have faced.

As the school reopened, around 50 uniformed police officers were on site, as well as grief counsellors to help students ease back into their school routines.

The students have returned two weeks after the shooting. Credit: PA

In the two weeks since the shooting, gun violence has dominated politics in America, with many of the school's students becoming involved in the debate, meeting President Donald Trump and attending gun control rallies.

David Hogg, who has become a leading voice in the students' movement to control assault weapons, said the presence of armed police on the school campus left him feeling uneasy: "This is a picture of education in fear in this country.

"The NRA (National Rifle Association) wants more people just like this, with that exact firearm to scare more people and sell more guns.

"I know one of those bullets could be shredding through me if I was misidentified as a school shooter."

Messages of support were hung up for the returning students. Credit: PA

On Tuesday, relatives of the shooting victims kept up the pressure in Florida's capital with emotional testimony during a legislative hearing to discuss passing a bill that would, among other things, raise the age limit to buy long guns from 18 to 21.