CLASSES have resumed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the first time since 17 students and teachers were killed by an expelled classmate with an AR-15 rifle, thrusting pupils into the centre of America’s gun debate.

As well as about 50 uniformed police officers, grief counsellors are on campus in Parkland “to provide a lot of love, a lot of understanding” and help students ease back into their school routines, Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie said.

Dozens of television trucks and vehicles were camped out nearby as pupils, parents and staff were ushered through a security cordon.

Some of the students returned despite severe gun wounds, but even those who were not wounded have spoken of emotional trauma.

The Douglas students return to school after two weeks of political activism that has reignited the nation’s gun and school safety debate.

Sophomore, Charlotte Dixon, said: “I’m so glad that people are stepping forward and talking about keeping it relevant ... because it shouldn’t happen to anyone ever again.”

Florida legislators are currently discussing a bill that would, among other things, raise the age limit to buy long guns from 18 to 21.