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UPDATE: Greg Abbott Visits Santa Fe High School Reopening After Shooting

As students and staff return to school in Santa Fe, schools around the country are trying to find ways to avoid school shootings

Gov. Greg Abbott visited Santa Fe High School where students returned to class for the first time since a gunman killed 10 people.

The Republican mentioned his visit Tuesday in a tweet. At Santa Fe High School, he spoke with students, parents, teachers and staff, and presented first responders with a commendation. Abbott included photos of himself wearing a green Santa Fe T-shirt and addressing a school assembly held shortly after the school reopened.

On Wednesday, Abbott plans to announce proposals aimed at curbing future attacks.

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Eleven days after the shooting that killed eight students and two teachers at Santa Fe High School classes are back in session.

Students from the neighboring Alvin school district arrived on school buses holding signs of support. Others from the community lined the highway to the school.

The shooting happened less than two weeks before the end of the school year. “There is never a good time for a crisis, and we know this especially affects graduating seniors,” Santa Fe High School posted on its website. Thursday is the last day of the school year, and graduation is Friday.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever be ready to go back to school,” senior Kaitlyn Richards told CNN affiliate KTRK. “But I don’t want that last day to be my last memory of my senior year. I just want to know I can see all my classmates once again.”

Lidia Cleveland’s son is among those going back to school today. Though she offered to walk into the school with him, he wanted to go on his own. “It’s going to be tough, coming back for the first time,” Cleveland told the Houston Chronicle. “But he needs to face it and try to move on.”

Students were to gather at 10 a.m. local time for an assembly to honor those who died, according to WFAA, an ABC affiliate in Dallas. Some changes have been made to the building and security protocols, the station reports: “There will only be one entrance and one exit at the school. Walls have been built to close off classrooms effected by the shooting. … Students will need identification to enter the school and will allowed to bring one parent or legal guardian. There will be additional law enforcement on hand for the remainder of the year and students are not allowed to carry backpacks or large purses.”

“There’s going to be a lot of crying, you know?” Santa Fe senior Annabelle O’Day told WFAA. “I don’t know if I am prepared for it. I won’t be able to tell you if I’m prepared for it until I walk into that school.”

Students at Santa Fe High School are returning to class for the first time since a mass shooting there that killed eight students and two substitute teachers.

Before classes resumed Tuesday morning, people stood along the road in front of Santa Fe High School holding up signs that said, “Santa Fe Strong” and “United We Stand.”

The Santa Fe Independent School District said additional law enforcement officers will be at the school to provide security for students as they wrap up the school year this week.

Authorities have charged student Dimitrios Pagourtzis with capital murder in the May 18 attack. Investigators said Pagourtzis used a shotgun and pistol that belonged to his father.

Pagourtzis remains jailed without bond in Galveston.

As students and staff return to school in Santa Fe, schools around the country are trying to find ways to avoid school shootings.

Cissy Perez is on the board at the Texas School Safety Center. She said when she asked students what they need, students recommended more counselors in schools.

“That came up quite a bit. Because our counselors are so inundated with academics or trying to get our students graduated that it’s very difficult to have time to recognize warning signs in students,” Perez said.

Perez said students are eager for other ways to let out their anxieties.

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Pop star Justin Timberlake made a surprise visit to a Santa Fe survivor as she recovers from her wounds in a hospital.

Sarah Salazar was among the more than two dozen injured in the Santa Fe High School. Her mother, Sonia Lopez-Puentes, shared on Facebook a photo that shows Timberlake wearing a medical gown and rubber gloves as he poses next to a smiling Salazar in her hospital room last Friday.

According to an online fundraiser for Salazar, the teenager suffered a broken jaw and will need shoulder replacement surgery after the shooting.

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