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Dennis Intermediate students return to school for first time since shooting

RICHMOND, Ind. – Dennis Intermediate students went back to school for the first time since a recent shooting incident Friday. Richmond Community Schools hosted a "Family Night."

In December, a teenage boy broke into the school and after being confronted by police, took his own life.

Friday's event was a chance for students to pick up their belongings they left behind the day of the shooting and get comfortable with being back in the hallways.

Superintendent Todd Terrill said administrators want to make the first day back at school a smooth transition.

“I think that emotional baggage is going to be with them for a while. I think it takes the edge off maybe of that emotional baggage but I’m not sure it’s going to completely remove it," Terrill said.

Terrill is hopeful the "Family Night" event gave students and parents a feeling of hope that things can go back to being normal.

Since the shooting incident, Dennis Intermediate has gone through some changes, including fixing the window that was broken.

"We’ve painted every hallway wall in the entire building just to kind of give it a fresh look. We refreshed the floors. We’ve put down some new flooring. We are trying to make it when they come back in students are like wow this better than it was when I left," Terrill said.

Dennis Intermediate is also decorated with supportive signs in the hallways, like signs that read #DennisStrong.

All schools in the district will start using a new security system too, once school starts back on Monday, January 7.

The new system scans any visitor’s driver’s license and gives them a paper ID to wear at all times.

When Dennis Intermediate students return back to class on Monday, there will be counselors and therapy dogs available for them.

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