In this first video of our new series WISEKIDS, fourth graders talk about their experience dealing with “Active Shooter Drills” at elementary school. Violet, Leila, Brianne and Evan go to school in Los Angeles and deal with active shooter drills several times a year, spending classroom time learning how to hide from gun-wielding predators. It’s just a part of life for them, and the idea of getting killed at school makes them very afraid, but it’s also abstract, an outcome that still somehow seems impossible. And why wouldn’t it? It seems like the craziest thing in the world! Schools should be safe, not scary.
“You shouldn’t be able to buy a gun until you’re like, 100 years old,” says 9-year-old Violet suggesting one way we could deal with “lockdowns” and “active shooter drills” in the wake of all the gun violence that happens in America every month. A hundred-year-old age requirement for guns would certainly get guns under control!
We chose ‘active shooter drills’ as the first topic of discussion because as parents, we’ve noticed that kids are talking about this a LOT. Especially since the Parkland shooting that inspired a youth movement around gun control, even very young kids have become aware of what it means that they need to practice how to hide from an unstable person with a gun. Why does it happen? What are some solutions to making it stop? Children are the people impacted by this terrifying phenomenon, yet we rarely hear from them. That’s why the March For Our Lives movement has become such an instant national phenomenon with a huge following – because kids have had enough, and they have the guts to say all the things that adults have been afraid to say!
The song in the video “Question Everything” is from the Be Who You Are album – we wrote this song exactly for societal problems like this one – what can we do about violence in schools? What have we done so far? Is it working? Question everything! Critical thinking leads to deep discussions and broader solutions. Sometimes grown-ups really don’t have the answers, which is a another big lesson for kids to learn. As the Parkland kids put it, “The adults have failed us,” and now they see the problem of gun violence in schools as theirs to solve by raising their voices, and lifting up the voices of others. These teenagers are coming of age to vote, and they intend to exercise their rights by ‘voting out’ the politicians who are standing in the way of sensible gun control. Young kids might not be able to cast a vote yet, but their opinions matter too, and we should listen to them, to find out what’s in the hearts and minds of the next generation of leaders, thinkers and creators.
WISEKIDS is a new series on the Be Who You Are TV channel where kids talk about important topics relevant to them. Find more videos on our YouTube channel.