CNY students take the lead on school safety

CNY students take the lead on school safety

College deadlines, sports, clubs, and academics.

"Looks like I'm going to University of Ottawa in Canada," Acadia Gilchrist, senior at Jamesville- Dewitt High School, said.

These four high school students, Acadia, Will, Danielle and Nico from Jamesville- Dewitt High School have a lot on their plates.

"I'm actually learning how to become a pilot I just soloed on my birthday, which was Wednesday," Will Guisbond, a sophomore at Jamesville- Dewitt High School, explained.

And together, they have an even bigger mission.

"To be honest, a year ago you wouldn't see this group sitting down together like this," Nico Modesti, senior Jamesville- Dewitt High School, added.

School safety and gun control.

"I want there to be a time when kids can go back to school again and not have to worry about dying," Nico said.

The Parkland School shooting left these students scared.

"It's drastically different why we are doing lockdowns for it's much more real because of how frequently shootings are happening now," Acadia added.

Back in March, it triggered a nationwide movement, March for Our Lives -- that Nico Modesti was part of in Washington.

"It motivated me to go back to Syracuse fighting for change and not give up," Nico said.

A trend that carried all the way back home.

"We showed up at the board, we called for a lot more security issues, but we also realized it extends beyond that, as safe as you can make your school, it would be very hard to stop someone with an AR 15 for example, Nico explained.

These students formed a safety committee with guidance from their principal Mr. Gasparini.

"He's been communicating through us to the board, how we can make our community safer and school safer, Danielle Jaffe, senior at Jamesville- Dewitt High School, said.

In March and April - many Central New York Districts here joined in on National School Walkout Day.

Jamesville- Dewitt High School being one, raw emotions were exposed outside on the football field.

The push for their voices to be heard continued, right to the door of Congressman John Katko to make sure their efforts go beyond walkouts and action is taken.

"A lot of our views weren't similar, but I think there is a middle ground we can reach though I don't think everything I wanted to get satisfied was satisfied, but he's from a different side of the spectrum from where I stand," Acadia explained.

But this is only the beginning.

"It really brought everyone together to say we need a change like our school and community," Danielle said.

A chance to be role models for other students.

"We want to continue the student safety meeting we want to keep the dialogue open not just with the administration but with our local police department and kind of create a legacy where kids can come to school and feel safe," Will added.

With hope to hear a direct response and action from school leaders and lawmakers to return our schools to the safe place, they were once meant to be.

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