Parkland teachers reflect on what’s changed one year after tragedy

Parkland teachers reflect on what’s changed one year after tragedy

PARKLAND, Fla. — There’s no escaping the memories one year later.

"I think that’s the one unique thing that’s going to remain there for the next two, three, 10, 12 years is we always have to return to the scene of the crime," said Jeff Foster, an AP Government Teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "Something always occurs that brings to back to that day."

For the past 12 months, Foster said it's been about trying to heal and also trying to be supportive to his students.

"Their emotional well being is important," said Foster. "If Johnny or Sally needs time to sit in my room, they can come."

"It’s difficult to go to school and stand in front of your class, and it’s something I’ve shared with my students as well," said Darren Levine, who teaches English and Holocaust Studies at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "We’re all different. We’re never going to be the same."

So much has changed for Jeff and Darren. They have a new class of students and they’re finding they have to adopt new ways of teaching.

"Certain subjects you avoid talking about," said Foster. "Being a government teacher, gun control is a big subject. We’ve talked about it a lot in previous years and we’ve definitely quelled that subject this year. We don’t talk about it."

Then there’s safety and security, which is always on their minds.

"What we do with code red drill, we take it much more seriously and the way we talk about it, we have to be very specific with them," said Levine.

That's how things are at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, one year later.

"We can never be wholly the same as we were," said Foster. "But I’d like to think we can get pretty close."

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