‘You are not alone’: Santa Fe High School students return to campus amid an outpouring of support

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SANTA FE, Texas - As Santa Fe High School students returned to campus for the first time since a lone gunman opened fire there, students from other districts lined the highway in front of the high school with signs, banners and one important message for the students of Santa Fe: "You are not alone."

"Our drill team from Kingwood High School came down to just support them on their first day back," said Kennedy Morgan.

"We're just here for them," said Stacie Kavoacevich of Santa Fe. "I know a lot of them are scared, but we just want to show them we love them."

Kelsey Purcell, an Alvin student said, "I've grown up here my whole life and I know the sense of family that we have in this community. And it doesn't matter if we're from Alvin, Santa Fe or Pearland, we are one."

The May 18 massacre left 10 dead, 13 injured and nearby communities devastated.

"I think we see these sort of tragedies on the news all the time but with it hitting so close to home, it's really hit my heart pretty heavily," Purcell said.

There's beefed up security at every campus in the Santa Fe district, now.

Andi Lewis teaches at Kingwood High School.

"You think that it would never happen to you or it would never happen to your school, but it is happening and it could happen to us," Lewis said.

According to the district, there will be no tests or final assignments this last week of school, just a real focus on the kids' emotional needs.  They'll have crisis counselors on-hand for the duration and Wednesday, the Santa Fe Strong Resiliency Center will begin serving the community, indefinitely, from inside a local church.

"I really think that all the students need to confide in someone," said Kavoacevich. "Their parents, someone. Just talk about it because I think that's what's gonna get them through it."

Support is coming from all over.  The University of Houston student government held a benefit concert and blood drive on Tuesday.  But perhaps one poster outside the high school sums up best why so many are showing up for Santa Fe.  It reads: "Strong people stand up for themselves. But stronger people stand up for others."

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