Metter High takes different approach to dealing with school violence

CANDLER CO., GA (WTOC) - In Metter, students and teachers tried a different approach to bring attention to the issues of school violence.

They talked about how their behavior to each other can prevent violence.

Students at Metter High left the debates over gun control and other topics to students elsewhere and focused on what they can do to be safer within their walls. They listened to the names of the 17 victims killed in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High by a former classmate.

"It's really scary to think it could happen here because Florida is just one state away," said Sophomore, Tia Brown.

Their attention also turned to prevention and diffusing situations before they happen.

"What are you doing to help stop school violence," school counselor, Ros Ferrell asked?

"If you see someone depressed or being bullied, stand up for them or say something to an adult," said Junior, Rachel Deal.

"You don't have to be best friends with everybody," said Junior, Adrien Bryant. "But do something to make sure the person next to you can feel safe, feel secure."

Sheriff John Miles talked about his time as a student at Metter and the change in times since then. He also asked students to be the eyes and ears and to not be afraid to report a potential threat so law enforcement can investigate.

"When it comes down to it, the kids are the ones that have to stand up and not worry about being called a snitch or whatever," said teacher, Vic Fordham.

Organizers say the assembly inside worked better than a protest outside.

"One of the reasons we didn't walk out is, you can't walk out on a problem," said Junior, Daniel Meade. "You've got to stand up to it, and I think that's what we did."

Student organizers say they wanted a demonstration that would help their school move forward.

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