In wake of the deadly Florida school shooting, students across the nation are struggling with the reality of gun violence.
Dallas ISD high school students discussed school safety during a forum on Tuesday. They spoke about ways to make schools safer and how they see themselves as the solution in more ways than one.
About 200 students from across 20 Dallas high schools met in small groups to tackle the topic of discussion.
“To just talk about things that are happening in society and what you, as a student, can do to change that in your own school,” said student Jeanette Lomeli.
“One main thing that we're not talking about in school is gun control,” said student Lucky Lawhorn. “And I think gun control goes a long way with these tragedies.”
They are tragedies that some students say what school districts now do to deter doesn't work.
“Metal detectors don’t secure our safety,” said student Hannah Brown. “It’s kind of like a way to show us that they are attempting for us to be safe.”
The reality for several students is they see more violence outside of the school than a mass shooting inside.
“To be honest, the area that I live in, I know what’s going on,” said student Michael Rios. “And I know there is stuff we have to worry about.”
“There’s things that surround the community that we have to like be aware of,” Lucky said. “Not so far in our school, but just around the community.”
The students also talked about how they feel about violence like the recent murder of a South Oak Cliff student Nequacia Jacobs, who was shot in her apartment.
“The emotional toll that it takes on our kids is very difficult,” said Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “If we don’t hear them out, they're gonna strike out.”
Students believe sending troubled kids to alternative schools doesn’t work
“You put them in a situation where they're with other kids who think just like them,” said student Hannah Brown.
“These policies are horrible today,” said student Caleb Smith. “And we end up sending more people to prison for just useless things.”
Students say making schools safer require they be counselors and friends to those who have no friends or are outcasts.
“If you see someone who is isolated, include them. Talk to them. Say something,” said Jeanette. “It can really change your life, save your life and save theirs as well.”