MONROE, La. (10/31/19)– When asked why students feel the need to carry guns, students from both Wossman and Carroll high schools had the same answer- the fear of needing protection. Anger and pain filled the room as high school students spoke up about gun violence.
“We shouldn’t die by guns,” Kristan Tyler, a Wossman HS student, said. “We should die how God wanted us to. Not by trying to be around some beef, because when you die, the hood that you’re claiming is not going to be in that casket with you. You’re going to be by yourself.”
While some held back others spoke out, including Loteria Moran, a Wossman high school student who recently lost a family member to gun violence. She spoke about the importance of reporting information to officials.
“He’s gone and there’s nothing nobody can do about it, because y’all won’t speak up,” Moran said. “I’m walking around the campus with kids who may have hurt my family member and there’s nothing I can do about it and y’all, ‘oh, I don’t snitch’.”
One student said the way to stop the gun violence in Monroe is to turn to love rather than fear.
“I feel like there’s no fear in love, when you fear, then you’re not making presence to love. We need to love one another,” another student said.
Students also wanted answers.
“She said, ‘how in the world can we change we change all of these people when they’ve got their own minds?’ Aint no way, let me tell how we change everybody in this room, by changing yourself.,” Big Al Cherry, a national recording artist, said.
Students and officials agreed on one way to stop the gun violence, education.
“These people give you an education,” Moran said. “Education, that’s your way out. Selling drugs, that’s not the way out. That can be taken away from you. Go get your own where nobody can take that away from you. Nobody can take your education away from you.”