Brooklyn students, teachers, parents and community groups joined Borough President Eric Adams Thursday morning for a discussion on how to keep schools and communities safe in light of the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
Adams said now is the time to devise solutions for protecting students.
“We can’t benchmark our lives and have anniversaries around school shootings,” he said.
The meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall covered a variety of topics surrounding schools and safety. Several parents and students said more needed to be done to confront the prevalence of violent games and movies geared toward youth.
Nadia Nicholson, 15, of Prospect Heights, however, argued that those games, films and TV shows are only a small factor.
“It’s all on the parents and how they raise their kids,” she said. “If you grow up in a good home, it doesn’t matter if you play violent games.”
Oma Holloway, a community activist for the Bridge Street Development Corporation, said even though city schools work hard to keep students safe, she is still worried about worst-case scenarios.
“I get to my daughter’s school and get panicky. They don’t have metal detectors,” Holloway said.
Attendees also said bullying in classrooms needs to be examined further after being cited as a factor in several violent instances. Adams agreed, and said the city should create new practices for helping ostracized students.
“The DOE focuses on academics, but we have to focus on the full development,” he said.
In the meantime, Adams urged parents and students to continue their activism and hold their elected officials accountable. He said his office will organize buses to shuttle people to Washington, D.C., for the March 24 rally for gun control.
He also said he is considering organizing a similar, local rally that day in Prospect Park.
“The ideas that come from these students are real, and they are committed to ending this violence,” he said.