' I ache for change' : U.S. students on shootings. I never feel comfortable returning to school after hearing about another shooting.

I feel immense sadness, intense anger and fear. School shootings are no longer unimaginable or incomprehensible, but common and anticipated.

I am 17, and many school shootings have occured throughout my lifetime, yet, I've seen no significant change. Instead of passing stricter gun laws, politicians have proposed armed teachers, and designing schools with single exit.

I don't sit in the front of the class, not because it makes me an easy target for my teacher's attention, but because it makes me an easy target for the gunman. I worry that I'll go to the bathroom at the wrong time and get stuck in the hallway as classroom doors lock and gunshots ring.

I worry that instead of bingeing YouTube videos about D.I.Y. notebook and locker decorations, I should have been watching how to turn my textbook into a chest plate.

Students discuss what it's like to go to school during a time of frequent violence and what America should be doing.

'' The strongest feeling I have is desperation. Because I have felt this way many times before. ''


1.- I feel useless, knowing that no matter what I do I can't change anything. It's out of control and no one is taking the lead in fixing the issue. Nothing helps me return to the classroom.

So many thoughts are stuck in my head : Where should I sit to help protect myself if a gunman comes in? Could the person next to me suddenly lose it and let out on all of us?

School is no longer a safe space?

Student Mathew Anatoliy Ravin, 15, Litchfield, Conn.

2.- I am terrified to go to school. This year alone we had two lockdowns, one of them right before the PSAT. Luckily, no one was hurt in either, but the fear it left in me and my school community for weeks after was heart shattering.

No one should be scared of going somewhere to learn and ending up dead. I want people to suck it up and give us gun control. I don't want to be scared anymore.

Student Aziza Greer, 16, Sebastopol, Calif.

3.- I completely broke down after seeing the news of Uvalde. I sobbed in my mom's arms. I felt, and still feel, helpless.

Every day that goes by is just another day that I have to simply hope that I or someone I love is not in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A few days after the Uvalde shooting, I visited my school resource officer in tears and asked about our precautions. She told me that the teachers are well trained, and our doors are always locked.

She also said she wished she could say it would never happen.

Student Megan Keaveney, 17, Portsmouth, N.H.

4.- Every time someone drops a book in a class room I look for the nearest exit.

It's insane that this reaction is in no way irrational. 

As long as seemingly anyone can get access to firearms without a sufficient background check, mental health screening or training, I will never feel safe.

Student Tom Nunn-Rutledge, 17, New York.

The publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks author Rebekah Boitey.


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