Black River Falls High School students hold town hall meeting on school safety

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Students at Black River Falls High School held a town hall meeting to talk about school safety after a shooting in Parkland, Florida killed 17 last month.

"That was democracy in action for me," said Black River Falls High School Principal Tom Chambers, in reference to the town hall

As students from thousands of schools demonstrated a walkout Wednesday morning, students at Black River Falls High School took a different approach, holding a town hall forum.

"Things were kept civil and there really weren't arguments, and it's nice that we could all come together on this. It really is, I'm hoping, a way that people will realize that we can talk about this civilly and that we do think about it and we do have answers to this," said Sophomore Devin Rowan, who goes by the name Autumn.

There were over 100 people who attended the 30 minute long forum, nearly a quarter of the student body.

The students were joined by some school administrators and police officers.

Junior Nick Ulness did not plan on attending at first.

"I think it really helped with everybody being able to voice what they think about what happened and how we can make our school a safer place," Ulness said.

Each student was handed a piece of paper with talking points and contact information for state and national representatives.

The forum was planned by Student Senate members with the help from some social studies teachers.

"I'm so proud of the kids and how they've shown a tremendous amount of leadership. I, frankly, was a little bit skeptical in the early days of talking with them and having conversations with them," said Chambers.

Those student leaders hope to keep spreading awareness.

"We all believe that the violence that is going on in our schools and in our communities should not be taking place," said Freshman Ellie Wirtz.

Including plans to have a day in April where they will encourage students to talk with 17 people they do not know well.

"On that day, we can talk to those kids and ask them about their day, ask them what's going on in their life, if there's anything we can help. You know, just try and be a friend to those 17 different people throughout the day," said Junior Memphis Cleveland.

Wirtz, Cleveland and Senior Katie Leadholm will also be part of a national movement.

As they participate in 'The March for Our Lives', an event in Washington D.C. on Mar. 24

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