A rainbow peeked out from the clouds at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers returned to work to prepare for the resumption of classes on Wednesday, two weeks after the Feb. 14 massacre that killed 17.
Photos of the rainbow began appearing on social media on Monday as teachers made their way to the Parkland, Florida, high school and saw it.
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On Sunday, school officials invited students and parents to return for an optional back-to-school orientation, reports NBC Miami.
Sunday was an emotional day, with teachers and students embracing one another, some of whom hadn’t seen each other since the gunfire began, The New York Times reports. Many wore t-shirts that said “Douglas Strong” and “Parkland United.”
Meanwhile, students, some of whom have become prominent voices in the fight to prevent gun violence, took to Twitter to share the emotional experience — and their commitment to preventing future tragedies from occurring.
Emma Gonzalez, another student activist who gained prominence after she gave a powerful speech days after the shooting that killed 17 of her classmates, told PEOPLE that she was looking forward to the day she returned to school.
“We want to go back to school,” she said. “We need to go back in session to show that this school will not be defined by its past. This school will be defined by its future.”
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The suspected shooter, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is in custody and is being held without bond. He has not entered a plea after being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder — one for each person he allegedly killed.
The building where the shooting occurred, Building 12, will not reopen, ABC News reports.