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Broward Superintendent: Law enforcement presence to stay, but scaled back

Posted at 3:46 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 04:17:57-05

About 95 percent of students returned to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday, according to the Broward County School Superintendent. 

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The sights of deputy cars and police lights greeted students back at school. Superintendent Robert Runcie believes anywhere from 200 to 300 officers on- and off-duty were present. 

"We're going to have a substantial amount of law enforcement there at the school throughout the remainder of the school year and into the foreseeable future," said Runcie. 

But not anywhere near the numbers seen Wednesday.

Superintendent Runcie said this week is about support and flexibility. Hundreds of students' schedules were adjusted to move classes from the freshman building where the shooting happened to other parts of the school. 

"I didn't know again like what to expect. I wasn't sure, are my kids going to be wrecked? Are they all going to be crying?" said Greg Pittman, a Stoneman Douglas High School teacher. 

Pittman said the therapy dogs were a hit. Runcie said there were 150 counselors at the school, but that number will scale back. The therapy dogs will continue to comfort students as they heal. 

"No one was emotional in a crying way today, everybody wanted hugs, hugs, hugs. Everybody wanted the therapy dogs," said Mr. Pittman. 

The freshman building is fenced off and is currently in the hands of the Broward County Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's Office because it is a crime scene.

The superintendent said he hopes the state legislature will pass a bill to include funding for demolishing the current freshman building, funding a memorial for the site and funding a replacement building located elsewhere on the campus.

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