Parkland students return to school six months after deadly shooting

ABC News' "Nightline" spoke with Brooke Harrison, who returned to classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a shooting on Feb. 14, 2018.
7:54 | 08/16/18

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Transcript for Parkland students return to school six months after deadly shooting
My first period is hospitality. Then there's psychology andalgia bra. You have some challenging classes. You have to study hard this year. Reporter: Anticipating the first day of school can be tough for any teenager. What else do you have to have for the first day? I was just going to bring some folders and a notebook to write some stuff down. Reporter: But for Brooke Harrison, this year it's more than back to school jitters. There's a hole in my backpack. Reporter: Brooke was in the first classroom attacked in parkland, Florida where a shooter opened fire killing 17 people, including three in her class. Brooke went into triage mode, helping her injured friends. I was telling him, if you feel dizzy, look at my, I told him to focus on me, and I was like, you have to put pressure on your blood. If you don't put pressure on it, you might bleed out. Reporter: That classmate made it out alive that day. How do you feel about going back? I know a lot of people are still going to be upset, it's a constant reminder ever what happened. Reporter: Today as parkland students begin a new school year, there's lingering debate about how best to keep students safe across the country. For the last six months, we've been following the journeys of a handful of parkland students, watching as they work through their grief. Witnessing moments of resilience and triumph. Strange to see myself dressed like this. Reporter: And even watching some transform into activists. I'm a little nervous but also excited because I know our legislatures are just people like us, and hopefully they're willing to listen to us. Reporter: Leading a ground swill of advocacy around gun control. First in the halls of the state Florida. You can't walk in with $180 and walk out with an ar-156789. Reporter: Then the March for our lives rally. One life is worth more than all the guns in America. Reporter: To a bus tour mobilizing voters this summer. We can have a chance to make America the country we want it to be. Reporter: Setting roadblocks when the subject of gun laws pop up. We should start by banning weapons of war. I don't think we need more gun control. I think we need more idiot control. I am furious that in the face of such tragedy and senseless violence that this congress continues to do nothing! Reporter: But on a local level, citizens are affecting change now. Many, like Andrew Pollack, focussing on beefing up school security. If you start saying the gun control word, they'll be fighting gun control for another 200 years after I'm dead. If you want to fight gun control, let's fix the schools, first. Reporter: Andrew's daughter meadow was one of the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in February. These are more pictures of my daughter with her brother, her cousins, just enjoying life. You know, she's the all-American girl. My daughter was meadow jade Pollack. And she meant the world to me, and she's not here anymore. And she was my baby. She was my princess. She was everything. I'm not going to let this happen to another family. Reporter: Channelg his grief, Andrew created a non-profit to advocate for the hardening of schools. You need metal detectors. There is a place for armed security in schools, just like there's a place for armed security at a courthouse, just like at the airport there's armed security. Reporter: Just weeks after the parkland shooting, Florida governor Rick Scott signed legislation that in part increases funding for school security. Andrew right there by his side. Every parent has the right to send their kids to school knowing that they will return safely at the end of the day. Reporter: It funds programs like this one in Polk county, Florida training safs officers. They're going to put them through a 140-hour course where they're going to get trained specifically for a school scenario. Reporter: It's called the Aaron Fies program. We know on average the active shooter arrives, does his evil deed and leaves between two and five minutes. The police response is a plus-five minutes on average. We need to have volunteers from the community that will agree to very good training. Preparation, so that they can stand in the gap for us until we arrive. Reporter: Recently, on the federal level, the department of homeland security offering up nearly $2 million to fund trauma training, to teach student skills like proper bleed control techniques, including dressing and tourniquets, but this program won't be available for at least three years. But right now there are private companies like MC armor addressing parents fears and anxiety with bullet resistant products for students. My colleague, Gloria Rivera visited their headquarters. It's not too heavy. No, it's just like a book. They wear it how, like a Normal backpack? Yes, or as a shield. So you're going to take it and use it as a shield. Reporter: The price tag for these backpacks? More than $500. The company started selling them specifically in the U.S. After sandy hook. We already sold out these. You're sold out. Yes. After the parkland shooting you sold out. Yes. Are you prepared for the backlash? There will be people saying this is a company making a lot of money off of fear. But it's not about fear. It's about protection. You know, I'm the mother of a 17-year-old son. I'm outraged by the idea that somehow a bulletproof backpack is going to protect him from this epidemic of mass school shootings in our country. Reporter: Shannon Watts is an anti-gun violence advocate. She says marketing these shouldn't be the only solution. It's not the technology that's the issue. The issue is that American civilians are seeking them out because our lawmakers are not doing their jobs. They're not passing laws that would actually stem the glow of gun violence in our country. After parkland I had a conversation with my parents. I was just like, it's kind of real. That's a really scary thing to wrap your mind and as a teenager. This is my inconvention. Safe kids. Reporter: Audrey Larsen is going into her sophomore year of high school in Connecticut. Some of my friends were having anxiety about being at school, and I don't think that's fair. Reporter: Which sparked an idea. The uninventor building a prototype for a bullet-proof wall. It's foiledable, two panel wall for kids to hide behind in the event of a school shooting. Reporter: For many, these bulletproof ideas are a band-aid, treating the symptoms while ignoring the disease. By the end of her first day back to school, Brooke Harrison is slowly healing. It's gotten better and Bert. -- Better.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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