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AP Photos: Anxiety evident as Marjory Stoneman year begins

August 15, 2018 GMT
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Charlie Shebes, 16, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School rubs his eyes, as he prepares to go to school, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in Parkland, Fla. Shebes was at the school last year when several of his classmates were shot. Students at the school returned Wednesday, to a more secure campus as they began their first new school year since a gunman killed 17 people in the freshman building. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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Charlie Shebes, 16, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School rubs his eyes, as he prepares to go to school, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in Parkland, Fla. Shebes was at the school last year when several of his classmates were shot. Students at the school returned Wednesday, to a more secure campus as they began their first new school year since a gunman killed 17 people in the freshman building. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Charlie Shebes had too much anxiety to sleep the night before the first day of his junior year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. He wants to forget but not be forgotten.

Returning to the campus where 17 people were shot to death, he says he’s tried not to relieve the past: “I saw bodies on the floor. I saw people on the walls, essentially, and I moved on, because I know it’s not going to happen again, so I don’t really have to dwell on it aside from the fact that there are reminders everywhere.”

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Shebes appreciates the $6.5 million in security improvements, including automatically-locking classroom doors, 17 security monitors, video surveillance and a system to keep out anyone not wearing a school ID.

But he wants school safety and gun control to stay in the national conversation.

“I know the world probably already forgot about us, but I know law enforcement didn’t. I guess that’s all that matters,” he said. “I just don’t want to be forgotten. I feel that’s a very common theme when it comes to these kinds of things, is just moving onto the next one, I guess, because it’s so common.”

- Josh Replogle, The Associated Press