Brooklyn students speak out on gun violence in wake of Florida school shooting

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A day after President Donald Trump held a listening session with survivors from the deadly Florida school shooting, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined high school students, parents and youth organization leaders from across the borough at a forum on gun violence.

Students voiced their opinions and concerns on the incident in Florida.

"When the bullet went off in Parkland, I felt it," Brooklyn Latin School student Ali Boivab said. "And I believe many people in New York City felt it."

Adams told dozens of the students who attended that they had the floor to speak first, so all their ideas could be heard.

The forum is an extension of concerns laid out in Florida Wednesday, when Parkland shooting survivors were lobbying state lawmakers.

The students addressed everything from holding walkouts at their schools to creating policy change. Some suggested creating a distinct, safe space at every school where kids can alert people to danger.

"It's kind of like a safe room where like anybody can come in," one female student said.

Others proposed tackling systemic problems before lives are taken.

"Bullying plays a big role in gun violence," middle schooler Dayshaun Riley said. "And if you don't stop the bullying, how do you stop the gun violence?"

The students agreed that some solutions must start at home.

"I hope the parents will stop giving toy guns to children and avoid giving them video games that have violence in them," 20-year-old G.E.D. student Ashley Sanabria said.

Many of them also haven't ruled out marching in Washington, even though they are too young to vote.

"Our government doesn't seem to be realizing that the access to guns is the most important issue, the thing that's making school shootings so common," Hunter College High School freshman Kate Griem said.

Adams said he has faith that change is coming.

"I know when I see this energy, these children are not turning back," Adams said. "And they're going to change what's going to happen in America."

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