Teachers return to Florida campus for first time since school shooting: 'It's surreal'

Teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas were slated to return to campus for the first time since a mass shooting forever changed the Florida high school.

The optional work day was established to give staff a chance to be there for each other and to sit with counselors ahead of the first day back for students, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

A breakfast was also planned for the teachers, who appeared to have mixed emotions about being back at the site of 17 murders a little over a week later.

"It's surreal... All of us, we go from angry to sad to numb," teacher Ashley Kurth told WSVN. "Most of us have gone and talked to counselors and we're talking to each other and family and friends."

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Teachers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School return after shooting
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Teachers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School return after shooting
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Margarita Lasalle (L-R), the budget keeper, and Joellen Berman, Guidance Data Specialist, and Holli Sutton visit the memorial in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Margarita Lasalle (R), the budget keeper, and Joellen Berman, Guidance Data Specialist, look on at the memorial in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Margarita Lasalle (R), the budget keeper, is hugged as she visits Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Elizabeth Smith (L) and Lindsey Riha both teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hug each other as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie waves after meeting with the media in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: A sign is seen on the fence around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in front of the freshman dorm where a mass shooting took place on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: A sign is seen on the fence around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in front of the freshman dorm where a mass shooting took place on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Crime scene tape is seen outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Kay Blake (L) hugs school bus driver Pearlie Corker as they visit in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Ms. Corker was ready to pick up students from the high school as the shooting started. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Margarita Lasalle, the budget keeper, and Joellen Berman, Guidance Data Specialist, look on at the memorial in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Margarita Lasalle (L), the budget keeper, and Joellen Berman, Guidance Data Specialist, look on at the memorial in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: School bus driver Pearlie Corker (L) is hugged by Dr. Rosalind Osgood, a school board member, as they visit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Ms. Corker was ready to pick up students from the high school as the shooting started. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: People arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: A person arrives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 23: People arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as teachers and staff are allowed to return to the school for the first time since the mass shooting on campus on February 23, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Another teacher, Jim Gard, said returning could be a good thing for teachers who will be there to comfort one another.

"I'm anxious to get back; I’m happy to get back," Gard said. "It would be nice for us all to be together. I’m looking forward to it. I really want to get back, and I really want to get back to the kids."

While some of the school will reopen, the freshman building where cops say 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz laid siege with an assault-style rifle will be leveled, the school board decided.

The building is still closed and considered a crime scene so classes normally held there will be relocated.

A press release from the school district indicates that all faculty will be required to come back to campus Monday and Tuesday for planning days ahead of the students' return Wednesday.

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Victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
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Victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting

Scott Beige - Geography Teacher

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth James Watt​​​​​​​

Chris Hixon - athletic director

Photo Credit: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

15-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff

Photo Credit: Florida Youth Soccer Association

14-year-old Alex Schachter

Photo Credit : Getty 

14-year-old Cara Loughran

Photo Credit: Facebook

17-year-old Helena Ramsey

Photo Credit: Facebook

14-year-old Alaina Petty

Photo Credit: Facebook

14-year-old Gina Montalto

Photo Credit: Facebook

15-year-old Peter Wang
18-year-old Meadow Pollack (left)

Student Jaime Guttenberg

Photo Credit: Facebook 

Student Martin Duque

Photo Credit: Martin Duque/GoFundMe

17-year-old student Nick Dworet

Photo Credit: Instagram 

Football coach Aaron Feis.

Photo Credit: MSDfootball.com

16-year-old student Carmen Schentrup

Student Joaquin Oliver

Photo Credit: Facebook

Student Luke Hoyer

Photo Credit: Facebook 

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