WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wednesday marks one week since the deadly shooting at Mount Tabor High School. It's also the second day back in classrooms for students since the devastating loss of their classmate William Miller, Jr.
The district's superintendent Tricia McManus and Mount Tabor's principal Ed Weiss Wednesday morning about the return to school and how they are moving forward after the tragedy. Mount Tabor's student body president, William Burns also spoke and shared how appreciative students are with the way the situation was handled last week.
McManus and Weiss both said how much they appreciate the support from the community and law enforcement over the past week.
“The support and the love and the care and the unwavering family support and attitude has been very uplifting for our school and our community," Weiss said.
He said the school is taking "baby steps" as far as healing, and trying to create a daily normalcy and routine for students.
“I can assure you one poor decision will not define five-plus decades of a fantastic high school," he said.
“Coming back yesterday, it was difficult, but it was encouraging to see all my classmates. I think we’re stronger than we’ve ever been as a group but what I am looking forward to going forward I just hope that all the students find peace," Burns said. "Teachers let us have time to just love on one another, sit in class and just talk to each other about what we experienced, and what we’re going through. But going forward, I know Mount Tabor will be strong, our administration team, their love doesn’t waver, so I feel like going forward we’re going to be a stronger community and continue to be Spartan Strong.”
McManus said district and school officials have already had meetings and will continue to have meetings about the events of the day and how to respond. Overall, she said she was proud of how staff and law enforcement responded to the shooting, but she said they still want to make sure they aren't overlooking any actions that could have been done better.
Investigators said another student shot and killed Miller on campus last week.
“I also want to be very humble in asking you to please, please, keep William Chavis Reynard Miller Junior's family in your thoughts and prayers in this very difficult time for them and their family," Weiss said. "They have been in our thoughts and certainly in our prayers."
More officers will be at the school to bring the students a sense of security. This is in addition to the two school resource officers assigned to the school.
Winston-Salem police chief Catrina Thompson said the death of Miller has mentally impacted all students, so more law enforcement will be at the school for as long as resources are available.
Forsyth County sheriff Bobby Kimbrough said he plans to work with the governor to look at other resources they can use to improve safety.
"I think it eases their anxiety of coming back after a tragic situation. It lets them know we're with them - not only was this a physical attack but a mental attack. I want to applaud the students and staff for getting up and coming back and having that strength and not allowing fear to keep students from obtaining their dreams and education," sheriff Kimbrough said.
Investigators said the suspect is also a student at Mount Tabor, but not much is being shared about their identity because they are a juvenile.