In an effort to open the lines of communication between students and adults, congressional candidate Brad Ashford invited high schoolers to meet and talk about gun violence in schools.
Roughly two dozen student journalists pulled chairs up to the table at the Joslyn Castle Thursday morning to engage in conversation with Ashford about violence in schools. Students posed questions like how Ashford proposes keeping schools safer, what kinds of gun restrictions he would like to see if elected again and what kind of role the NRA plays in politics.
Ashford tells NewsRadio 1110 KFAB that in light of the recent tragedy in Florida he wanted to involve Nebraska students in the conversation and that they will be the catalyst for change. "Numbers of students voiced their concerns, and their horrors really, about gun violence. This is amazing, they're great kids." Ashford went on to say that it should be everyone in America's priority to keep our kids safe. "We don't want them hurt anymore, and we don't want them killed. This is, I think, our way of saying to the Omaha students, 'We want you here. We want you to be able to ask me whatever's on your mind.'"
Marian student Diana Elizalde says she hopes that more civic leaders would be open to listening to what they have to say, because they live the reality of school shootings everyday. "We've grown up doing active shooter drills, doing lock down drills, going to school thinking that your school is going to be the next one. I think that as students we experience that first hand, and a lot of representatives have not."
Elizande says people her age feel like they have been pushed out of the conversation, but their voices should be heard over all of the other noise. "It's our job to tell them our testimonies and say, 'Hey, we are the ones living this everyday and you should do something about this.'"