Expert says students need to return to school after trauma

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 05:30PM
Expert says students need to return to school after trauma. Registered Nurse Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on February 28, 2018.


Obviously, it can be extremely difficult for students to return to the scene of the school shooting, but a local expert says it's vital for students to return.

Flanked by balloons, flowers and friends, students went back inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday morning.

Sophomore Macy Geller said, "I'm nervous but happy to see everyone come together and support each other."

That support, and being around people who've faced the same horrific tragedy is something Shari Botwin - a licensed clinical social worker in Cherry Hill says will help with healing.

Botwin says, "If they need to cry, talk, have flashbacks, there's going to be people to talk to."

It's been two weeks since the gunman went on a rampage, shooting and killing 17 people inside the school. As difficult as it is, Botwin says its important students and staff return.

"In some ways that's what helps some people move beyond trauma, going back to the place it happened, saying I have the right to be in the school and feel safe again," Botwin said.

But for some with more visible scars, it may be too soon. Samantha Fuente was shot several times in the legs. She's a senior and says she'll finish her credits online. But like so many of her classmates, she'll continue to tell her story and advocate for change.

"You know to speak to large audiences, spread my message, speak to lawmakers, attend rallies and be everywhere I need to be so people can hear me clearly," she said.

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