Dear Aryn Bowman and Roseann Torres,

We are choosing to write to you both because we want to make changes against gun violence in schools. Something schools should work more on a school lockdown in which we will practice for a shooting incident. This would be good for everyone because we would all know what we would do when a shooter comes to school. The students are the victims when a shooter comes into a school we need to take action about this and with the support of both it would be helpful. According to other schools they are prepared for school lockdowns when a shooter comes into school. In the article “After Parkland, a push for more school shooting drills” it talks about how the House of Representatives is willing to vote for the stopping of the gun violence and and providing a bill of $50 million grant to schools for training programs. Moreover, Alexia Fernandez Campbell states “The bill would allow schools to use the money for mass shooting drills, which have become common in public schools since the Columbine school massacre. Since the Parkland shooting, a few states have also taken steps to beef up school security” (Campbell). This is saying that with that kind of bill they are able to do better programs to make the school more secure and kids won’t feel unsafe at school anymore. With the support of both we can make Oakland schools more secure with more lockdowns drill. If we have this bill at Oakland OUSD schools this can better protect us and make sure that we are able to be more secure in our community. In this kind of situation we are the targets because we are the ones that are getting attacked by a shooter.

Our project is about the issue on gun violence in schools. Gun violence in schools is an issue because students can get hurt or killed. The cause of gun violence is that some students will bring a weapon because they have a lot going on in school. Our allies would be the school and the teachers, counselors because they can be supportive and talk to  us abouts what’s going on and be prevented to harm others. They will help us by making all students practice lockdowns and how to be safe.The opponents in this situation are the students that bring weapons to school to do bad or to get all their feelings or thoughts out by harming people. Another example is some might also bring a weapon to the school because the person might have a mental illness and needs help. In the article called “Look at the Root cause of Gun Violence” by James Gilligan he is an american psychiatrist that makes books about violence, Gilligan states, “One study concluded that only about 22 percent of those who commit mass murders suffer from sehe article trious mental illnesses” (Gilligan). This quote is trying to say that people that suffer from mental illness it is most likely to go to school and shoot. And because of this we should practice lockdowns so innocent people won’t get affected.

There have been movements in the past to try to make a change for gun violence and one of those changes is Protesting and Walkouts . A movement that happen in February 2018, In the article called “The Parkland survivors started a movement when they took on gun violence. Here’s how it happened” by Alan Gomez, the article talks about how parkland started a movement when the massive shooting happen in their school. Alan states, They’ve persuaded the GOP-controlled state Legislature to consider gun-control measures once deemed off-limits in Tallahassee and sparked marches, protests and school walkouts around the country”(Gomez). This quote is trying to say that because of what happened in the massive shooting they say that around the country they were getting the support they needed from all over the world. This something that is also happening still now in 2018 and this means that people are still sticking together to make a change.

Our plan is we would have a 20 minutes about Gun Violence in School’s and have more Lock Down Drills because we will make a change and be better prepared when there is a massive shooting at a school and everyone will be safe. The steps we will first confirm with our Principle Aryn Bowman and The one in charged of the OUSD schools Roseann Torres and then make posters about gun violence in schools and have a 20 minutes of silence to bring awareness about this issue that is harming families by losing the ones they love. But we would also be doing minutes of silence in schools to show the support to this situation. We are confident with our plan because it will bring awareness and make a change and feel safe in our community and to not fear to go to school.

In conclusion, gun violence is never expected and no one will ever be able to handle this. So, to prevent this,to raise awareness about gun violence in schools we will let Life Academy’s principal to do more lockdown drills and have the director of Oakland Unified school Roseann Torres make all the OUSD schools do lockdown drills to because it will make an impact out of this and we all together will be prepared and know what to do when theres gun violence in school and won’t have to suffer seeing members die or be impacted by the shooting and be safe going to school. 



Christopher, Paola, Erika

Annotated Bibliography

Campbell, Alexia Fernández. “After Parkland, a Push for More School Shooting Drills.” Vox, Vox, 16 Feb. 2018,

In this article it talked about how there is was a bill giving to school to use for training programs in case of a shooter coming into school.

Gomez, Alan. “The Parkland Survivors Started a Movement When They Took on Gun Violence. Here’s How It Happened.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 22 Feb. 2018,

In this article it was giving out movement that most people around the world were doing to support the gun shooting in Parkland Florida. They were all doing all sorts of things to support the gun shooting at the school like protesting and walkouts.

Heim, Joe, et al. “Thousands of Students Walk out of School in Nationwide Gun Violence Protest.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 14 Mar. 2018,  

This article talks about what are the causes of gun violence and how people are supporting and protesting to stop the gun violence in schools. It also talks about how we should have better school safety.

“Look at the Root Causes of Gun Violence.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report,

In this article it was talking about how mental illness can cause to shoot schools.



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May 30, 2018 4:16 pm

I agree but, what if the school shooter was a latino or arabic kid the U.S would had changed so many gun laws and would make a deal about for more than 3 months but because its always a white kid they never change the guns laws just like the laws in Florida you can be 18 years old and walk in a gun shop and purchase a AR-15 but you have to be 21 to buy a pistol which makes zero sense.

May 30, 2018 4:04 pm

My name is Jose Diaz Im from Unity High and i like that you said that teachers have to be supportive for students because we really go through some thing that no one knows about.

May 29, 2018 8:35 pm

I would have to agree that the issue should be combated with awareness and using to drills to prepare rather than attempting major changes to gun control.

Jeff Cruz
May 29, 2018 8:08 pm

My name is Jeff and I am from Oakland Unity High School I liked that you have many other sources that had stories involving gun violence. A question I have is who are you writing to, and also if you need to practice drills you should talk to your school principal about that ?

May 24, 2018 9:06 pm

My name is Dante from Oakland Unity High School and what I liked about this article was how you guys brought up connections from the past shootings in schools so you can give us more emotional feeling to your article. Also who is this article written to?

May 24, 2018 9:04 pm

I really like this topic you chose to write about because in our school a fight had just happened involving gangs but luckily no guns were involved. But I do agree on how there should be better security to keep students safe. Police should respond faster even if there is not major danger. Will anyone do something about students safety on every school existing?

May 11, 2018 6:38 pm

What I like about the author is that they want to make a change about the gun violence which is a important thing in my opinion

Tayeshaun Campbell
May 9, 2018 4:07 pm

Hello everyone.

My name is Tayeshaun Campbell and I am a student at Fremont High School here in Oakland. I just read your project blog post and I have some feedback.
One thing I liked about what you wrote was how that you are kids trying to make a change in the world by trying to stop gun violence. Also what I liked about this is how well it was put together and how well it was written.

Something I have a question about is why do you really wanna stop gun violence and what made you pick this subject.

May 9, 2018 1:55 am

Hi Paola, Chris, and Erika,

Your topic of choice is very relevant and important today!

It appears your audience is your principal and someone at your school district. My question is did you appeal to their safety in your proposal? Students are not the only victims when an active shooter situation arises. It may be beneficial to make the teachers and administration feel they are also at risk. Appeal to their emotions too.

Along with appealing to emotions, you have noted that students are victims. Have you thought about including student statements from students who have been in acitive shooter situations?

I like your idea about having minutes of silence to honor victims of school shootings. What are your intentions with this project on the grand scheme? Sure, having some silence time may allow for some of your peers to think about these shooter situations, but what is the goal beyond that? How does some time for silence implement change?

I like your call to action of implementing drills for the students- should this happen more than once? How often? Should teachers also receive training? Perhaps this may be your implementation instead of 20 minutes of silence.

Good luck with your project!

May 9, 2018 1:54 am

Christopher, Paola, Erika

The 3 of you conducted high quality research. I have learned some key facts about the gun debate. Good job! One point that comes to mind as I read your post is how you may contradict some of your research. First, you mention the root cause of gun violence which was well thought out and important. Your plan concludes with requesting that your principal conducts more lock down drills. If you were to consider the points that you mention more lock down drills does not validate your initial point of mental health and the need to have more students feel like they belong at schools. Although lock downs are very important, could they also spark more fear and panic? Could lock downs create more uncertainty and worry? Overall, the 3 of you did amazing work! This is such an amazing project and very important to your academic journey! Keep up the powerful work!

University of California, Riverside

May 9, 2018 1:43 am

Dear Erika, Paola, and Chris

You all did a fantastic job on this proposal. I think it is clear that you want the administration to do more awareness about gun violence strategies, and you cited many stories about how that is not currently happening in schools. The initiative that you take with this project is also very informative on how you see the change that others made, and how you want to implement it. One website that might help you double-check your tone and grammar (and is free for anyone) is This might be helpful.

I have a few questions for your group that you can build upon:
1. If you were to take this to all of the schools in your district, not just yours, would you structure your proposal differently?
2. Would you include sources about how effective gun-prevention strategies are (logos)?
3. How would you write this proposal if you were writing this to persuade your fellow students?

I wish you success in your endeavor with this project! You are on the right path.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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