Teens host town hall to discuss gun violence in schools

6 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, August 02 2018 Aug 2, 2018 Thursday, August 02, 2018 3:16:00 PM CDT August 02, 2018 in News
By: Jared Smith, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - A group of high school teens in Jefferson City sat down with other peers to discuss solutions to gun violence in schools. 

This event was planned by the students so teens could have a safe place to talk about certain concerns about past school shootings.

"It was more people than we expected, but it allowed for the conversation to be even better," high school student Da'Chanel Sutton said.

This event was specifically designed for teens so the general adult public was not allowed to attend. Certain adults, including law enforcement and school board member, were in attendance to acknowledge the concerns students have about mass shootings in schools.

"It's a very prevalent issue in America. Every time we go to school and that is our job basically right now," student Joya Wheatfall-Melvin said. 

According to Susan Cook-Williams, this is the first time students have been able to voice their concerns for school shootings. 

Before this meeting, it had seem they were unable to talk about these issues in the classroom. This event allowed for the to voice concerns and look for changes.

The students hope the adults in the room will hear their concerns and act accordingly to make schools more safe.

One concern that was about a lock down that happen last August. Many teens felt school officials were unorganized throughout the process making students uneasy as to if teachers can act accordingly in these situations.

The students also discussed prevention tactics with Cook-Williams when it comes to school shootings.

"As you saw in the discussion with the police officers, you saw how they want to have little meetings in [study halls]," student Genesis Grinston. 

The school board has already started implementing new rules to make the students safer.

"I am proud that a number of the things they were talking about we're already putting effort to. A great example of that is the active shooter drills," Jefferson City School Board President Steve Bruce said. 

Students plan to have more interaction with local police to prevent school shootings from happening this school year. 

This will be the first of many teen town hall meetings throughout the school year. 

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