West Mesa High School students, teachers share fears about gun violence

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Student, after student, after student and teacher, after teacher shared their fears about gun violence at West Mesa High School during the Albuquerque Public School board meeting Wednesday night.

“I fear for my life when I go to school,” said one sophomore. 

“I think it’s very sad, this is something we have to discuss and fight for. But this is our horrifying truth,” said another student, who witnessed last year’s deadly shooting just off campus, and another incident in December where a student’s gun went off during an elective class. 

“I still get scared every time I hear the click of the loudspeaker, I still remember how terrified I was thinking one of my loved ones is hurt,” she said.

“Walking onto campus and feeling scared is not right,” said one student.

Teachers also spoke on behalf of students who couldn’t be there, who have concerns about safety, mental health impacts, and disruption of learning.

“Every child is scared, and I hope you hear each and every one of their voices,” said one teacher. 

“West Mesa is my home, so I care about the safety of my students, myself, my colleagues and my community,” said another teacher. 

17 speakers total asked for more security measures like metal detectors, bag checks, and more police officers. 

“I think you heard a lot of our kids are afraid. We already have enough statistics stacked against our kids, fear is just another one,” said one teacher, to the school board.

The speakers shared the united message they hope hits home before it’s too late.

“We beg you to hear us and make a difference. We are scared and so are the teachers, and it shouldn’t be this way,” finished one student.

They all spoke during the public comment period of the meeting, so board members did not have a chance to respond. 

The board’s president only said members are listening, and she appreciates all of the speakers.