Shaken students return to Virginia Tech
Many students headed back to Virginia Tech campus Sunday toattend church services and memorials for the 32 people who were gunned down in the deadliest school shooting spree in U.S. history.
Ryanne Floyd, who left campus Wednesday to be with her parents in Culpeper, Va., said she was ready to resume classes Monday.
"I want to go back to class just to be with the other students," she said. "If you just left without going back to classes, you would just go home and keep thinking about it."
With only one week left in the college semester, officialsat Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University are giving students a number of ways to complete their courses, including the option of requesting thatcourses be graded based on materials that had been submitted before the April 16 massacre.
Claire Guzinski said on her way back to West Ambler Johnston Hall, where two residents were killed,that she wasn't afraid about going back, but nervous about what to say to a classmate who hadlost a friend.
ButPaul Deyerle said he was struggling to cope with the death of Ryan Clark, a friend of nearly three years, and was unsure about returning to the classroom.
"I want to go back. It's just really strange to just stop going,"Deyerle said. "I need to keep going back. It seems like every other facet of my life is different now, so I have to."
Deyerle and some of Clark's other friends drove to Georgia over the weekend to attend his memorial service.
"It's hard to go meet his family and pretend like your friend is still alive," he said. "It hurt, and it helped."
StudentDevin Cornwall said the shootings will have little impact on whether students return next fall or whether new students enroll. He said some of his sister's high school students in New York have said they plan to attend Virginia Tech.
"She said if anything, they want to come here even more," he said.
On Monday, thecollege plans to remember the victimswith a moment of silence to be marked by the toll of a single bell at 9:45 a.m.
A minute later, a bell will ring 32 times to remember each victim as 32 white balloons are released from the Drill Field, followed by 1,000 balloons in the school's colours of orange and maroon.
with files from The Associated Press