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Heritage High School holds open house for parents, students more than a month after shooting

Newport News parents and students heard more from school officials about going back to school on Wednesday.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — On Monday, Heritage High School staff held an open house for parents and students. 

It's a step into normalcy after a shooting at the school in September. The shooting left two students injured and police say a 15-year-old student was charged.

The sound of the band practicing is just one sign of things slowly getting back to normal at the Newport News school.

Families at the open house are looking to move beyond September 20 when gunshots rang out in the hallways.

“You know as a dad and something like this happening, you feel vulnerable," said Heritage High School Parent JT Smith.

JT Smith was one of several parents who went to the first open house since the shooting.

“Families and parents and stuff like that; most of us has been really closed circuit about it. Like we haven't really shared a lot," said Smith.

Newport News Public Schools Division leaders said the open house was for students and parents and asked that we don't go inside due to the sensitivity of questions concerning the shooting. 

“I got a to hear what they said and my main concern was security," said Smith. 

Smith also said he got some answers about the school’s metal detectors.

“I have a clear idea of where those metal detectors are going to be. And I have a clear idea of what entrances they’ll be at. So that's what I needed to know. You know," said Smith. 

Smith said he left the open house confident the right safety measures are in place for his daughter to go back to school.

It's been more than a month since students attended classes here in person at the high school.  Students will head back to class Wednesday, October 27, 2021.