The father of Parkland victim Jaime Guttenberg was waiting to greet students as they returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the first time since the shooting.
"Take Jaime into the school with you today," Fred Guttenberg told her classmates.
His 14-year-old daughter was among 17 people killed two weeks ago when a gunman entered the school with an AR-15.
"It's bittersweet — I'm sending my son back," Guttenberg said. "As I'm talking, I'm watching his friends going back. My daughter is not going back. That is not something that is easy to wake up to."
On Wednesday, students returned to classes for the first time since the killing spree. Each student was given a carnation as they arrived to a large police presence. Comfort dogs were also on hand to help students, as were grief counselors.
"I'm nervous, but also excited to see everyone again, I guess," one student said outside the school.
The school had a 95 percent attendance rate Wednesday, but 10 students and five teachers said they would not be returning.
Among them is Samantha Fuentes, a student who was shot three times. She said she will complete her studies online.
Special education teacher Kevin Siegelbaum also stayed home. He became emotional as he explained why.
"We're expected to go back after two weeks?" he said through tears. "I don't know. I'm trying to hold it together right now, but I don't know. How do you expect to go back to any sense of normalcy? There is none."
David Hogg, a student journalist who has been one of the faces of the teenagers' "Never Again" movement, said they just had to "make it through school."
"That's what America has to do and that's what we have to do," he said.