SANTA FE, Texas – Students in Santa Fe returned to school Tuesday for the first time since a shooting at the high school that killed 10 people and injured 13 others.
A gunman went on a nearly half-hour rampage May 18, killing eight students and two teachers.
There was super tight security this morning as kids headed back to Santa Fe High School.
Students started arriving around 8 a.m.
At one point, there was a line in front of the building waiting to get in. Students got in more than two hours later.
School officials said students went in, one by one, their IDs were checked, and then officers checked them again with metal-detecting wands.
"I was walking over by the memorial there and police officers were asking everyone for IDs," said supporter Elizabeth Atchison.
It's been 11 days since a student walked through the doors and gunned down eight classmates and two teachers.
On Tuesday, they were greeted by signs of support and love as they were dropped off at the front entrance of the school.
"There were, like, posters' they were cheering us on with, like, cowbells," said Skyler Skillman, a Santa Fe High School student.
People said making the children feel safe that is the most important thing to do right now.
"They are allowing one family member, parent or grandparent, someone to walk in with them. They are united together, they are back together. I think it's part of the grieving process, they are in my heart, Santa Fe strong, it makes me tear up," Atchison said.
Security was beefed up at all district campuses Tuesday.
"As soon as we walked in the doors, you had to be wanded down by security just checking for everything, which I understood," said Verity Latham, another Santa Fe High School student.
The Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset was there to walk his granddaughter, who was three doors down from the shooting, into the school.
"I walked in with my granddaughter. Gave her a hug. (I) told her I'd be here for her," Trochesset said.
Grief counselors are also on hand to help students and staff and will be available as long as they are needed.
Alvin students come to support Santa Fe
Two Santa Fe High School students, who are part of the school's choir, sung the national anthem at the Houston Rockets game. The team invited Santa Fe High School seniors to watch Game 5 and have the choir sing the national anthem for the nation.
"Millions of people watching us this playoff game is big. We're singing in front of all the players. Seen Travis Scott right behind us and Justin Timberlake, JJ Watt. It was like ... oh my gosh..." Skillman said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's office tweeted out pictures of his visit to Santa Fe High School on Tuesday where he spoke to the students and honored first responders.
Students said it was a very emotional day, especially during the school assembly when a tribute was shown to honor the victims.
Students have a few days left. The last day of school is scheduled Thursday and graduation is Friday.