A recent CDC survey reports over 16% of high schoolers admitted to bringing a weapon to school in the past month. Gun violence in schools is a problem that doesn’t seem to be going away. Even after recent events like Newtown, students and parents are waiting for changes, but one teenager can’t wait any longer.
High school junior Allie Chandler starts the day in Clearwater, showing her allegiance to the flag, but her pledge goes beyond the walls of this classroom. She wants changes made across the country to target gun violence in schools, and she’s using this school assignment to make her point heard.
“It’s a documentary and I believe in it with my whole heart,” said student filmmaker Allie Chandler.
“It’s bone chilling,” said Clearwater High School television teacher Cara Ryan.
Ryan says the assignment started as a campaign reform documentary but took a turn to gun violence after the Newtown shootings. Chandler edited the video in her bedroom.
“Kids have brought guns to school at our school and you go into lockdown,” said Chandler. “Lockdown is lockdown. You just lock doors and sit under a desk.”
In the documentary she talks about 25 years ago when her mother was in the same situation, a lockdown at school. She interviewed her for the school project.
“People were screaming, ‘there’s a gun, there’s a gun!’” recalls Allie Chandler’s mother and school violence witness Lisa Chandler.
An Assistant Principal was killed then. Like mother like daughter, in her documentary Allie Chandler suggests changes like metal detectors and fortifying schools. She’s targeting lawmakers to demand change.
“I have sent it to a couple lawmakers. They’ve looked at it and said it was an option that we should be looking at; something other than gun control,” she said.
So what seemed like a simple class assignment may end up sparking change across the country.
The documentary won second place in a C-SPAN contest. Allie also produced a video about the dangers of texting and driving. It was shown in movie theaters in the Tampa Bay area. She has her own production company, too.