Her friend, Melisa Akcam, 15, who was in the cafeteria at the time of the shooting, said, "I just feel like everyone should think about other people's feelings."

Dan Albion, one of a number of youth ministers who came to the vigil, said he was the victim of teasing in high school. He has discussed with students how important it is to recognize that small actions can have an impact on others. "I think this is a huge eye-opener for them," he said.

While some students said they were glad to return, Reyes said that many were posting on social media about how unsettled they felt. "There was an aura of people just not wanting to be there," she said after the school day was over.

But Huesman, who was at the prayer vigil, was not apprehensive. "This is a good school with a good faculty and this tragedy could have happened anywhere," she said. "These kids all joined together and want to be there for each other."

Senior Brittany Melchior said she felt safer with Tuesday's increased police presence.

Senior Rachel Grueninger praised the emergency drills that schools regularly hold. "We have emergency drills all the time and we all think those are a pain," she said. "Now I am grateful everybody knew what to do."

Both seniors said they felt tremendous support Monday from family and community.

"I had people who didn't even know me asking if I was OK," Melchior said. "I am really glad we returned to classes today. One kid wanted to mess things up for all of us. But he didn't succeed."

Alex Nowak, a senior, said he was most worried about the ninth-graders whose only feeling about the school right now was fear. He said he wanted to "reach out to freshmen to make sure they are OK and they don't want to transfer."

Robert Roane, a minister and 1984 alumnus, said he returned to the campus Tuesday to pray with the Perry Hall High family.

"We are blessed that no life was lost," he said. "We need to pray for the victim and for the boy who did the shooting. He needs forgiveness."



  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts