CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – Students from half a dozen Broward schools asked elected officials about school safety at a “Teen Political Forum” held at Coral Springs Center for the Arts.
“I thought it was very informative and reassuring about our safety in school,” said Taravella High junior Nicole Linn.
This is the 12th year the event has been held.
Organizers say the event has always been well attended but this year they expected an even bigger audience because of the safety concerns after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
The panel included a Broward County commissioner, two Broward County school board members, the vice mayor of Coral Springs and three Coral Springs city commissioners.
They took questions from the audience and from Twitter.
“Stoneman Douglass is the only school in Broward County that has added clear backpacks and security checkpoints to combat school violence. If this is a solution why doesn’t every school, not just in this county, but around the country implement these measures?” was one of the questions asked on Twitter.
“Every single thing we can do, doesn’t mean every single thing we should do and in this case we need the feedback from our students, our parents, our faculty and this may not be a longstanding provision just so you all know,” said Broward County school board member Donna Korn.
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglass were in attendance as well as schools that are close by — Coral Glades High, Coral Springs High, Coral Springs Charter, Taravella High, and Coral Springs Christian Academy.
Organizers say in total there were more than 1,100 students on hand for the event.
Students asked about arming schoolteachers, background checks and gun regulation.
“The common denominator that we keep seeing with these mass type shootings are high automati, semi-automatic type weapons,” said Broward County commissioner Michael Udine. “There needs to be less of them. If I had a superpower, that would be the first thing I would do.”
Students not only addressed questions about safety at school but in the community.
“We all want to be safe not just at school. We want to go to the mall and feel safe. We want to walk into our restaurants and feel safe,” said Marjory Stoneman Douglas High student Adam Alhanti.
Most students left feeling reassured even if the panel didn’t have the answers to all of their questions.
“Some kids didn’t get the answers they wanted and were disappointed but I feel I got the answers I wanted,” said Linn.
The elected officials on hand say they expect to discuss the issues that were brought up and reach out to state and federal officials to get things accomplished.