We'd like to give you a snapshot, in text form, of what some of the kids had to say during the taping. The discussion was thoughtful, respectful and eye-opening on many levels.
Suzanne Hanvey - "I'll post something on my Snapchat story, can someone talk to me, I'm feeling kind of down. And then no one answers me. And I feel like no one cares. And it's just an awful, awful feeling. So I could see why it would drive someone to do that because no one ever should have to feel like that."
Bonny Snyder - "I don't really want to talk about the mental health issue, because other places have mental health issues. I want to talk about the fact that here, people are getting guns legally when they have mental health issues, and they are going to a place and shooting innocent people. That is the issue to me."
Lucy Wing - "[Mental health] comes a little bit from the previous conversation about feeling isolated and being able to make connections with people and build support systems from a young age, I think is vital in not keeping people isolated."
THE NEW NORM AT SCHOOL
Rachel Carignan - "I grew up in a post-Columbine world. All of us have. Personally, my father works at the school I go to. We've had many bomb threats in the last couple years I have been attending MDI. Bomb threats to our school, district, and my dad sometimes says in the morning, 'remember, you might have to wear an extra jacket, you might have to go outside today, there might be a bomb threat.' I am thinking about it every day. I’m thinking about where I might go in case there’s a school shooting. Where I would hide if I could leave the building through one of the windows, it’s something I think of when I step into a new room."
Mason Soares - "I was homeschooled until this year, so going to high school was a very scary prospect for me. And once I started hearing about all these shootings, it was very terrifying because I was walking into an environment that I didn't understand and that I didn't know anything about. And then on top of that, I had to worry about where I was going to go if something happened."
Rachel Carignan - "So I feel like we keep talking about the people that are shooting the guns instead of the actual guns themselves. I feel like that's kinda been the trend. This is more about guns. And if you look at our statistics for people that have handguns related to gun-related deaths, America versus England versus Japan, their numbers are drastically lower than ours, and there's an obvious correlation."
Sage Hafenecker - "I don't think we should be taking guns away from people. I think that automatic weapons are not very necessary. You don't need them; you don't need to walk around with them. You don't need to go hunting with them. Handguns, if you want a handgun in your house to protect yourself, I think that's ok. And we can't completely erase weapons from our community because there's a fear the military could come back at us. Weapons will still circulate."
Bonnie Snyder - "Absolutely not! The idea of arming teachers is scarier than ... I'm sorry. No. The thought of my teacher having a gun on them, all the time, doesn't make me feel safer. It actually makes me more scared. The more guns you have in a school, the more chance there is that someone who maybe is mentally ill ... it increases the likelihood that they could get a gun."
Moxie McBreairty - "We switch classes after the first semester. I would be so nervous, not only coming into the school as a freshman, but not knowing these teachers and them not knowing you, and they have a gun on them? That would be absolutely terrifying to me. They can't even match my name to my face yet."
Jefferson Lane - "One of the biggest downers online is that older people are like why should we listen to a generation that's obsessed with taking selfies and eating Tide Pods. Well, we're the ones going through this every day. It's our lives at stake. I want to go to school and survive the day and come home afterward. We've got some ideas, just give us a chance."
Tasha Hipple - "Our generation is the generation that is going to have live with the changes that are made right now...I think it's (our) job to take action and not let the foolish leaders do nothing. It's our job to do something."