Henry County students create video to share thoughts on school safety

Students hope video will ultimately help make schools safer

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

HENRY COUNTY, Va. - The nearly four-minute long video made by Laurel Park Middle School students shows students going through a normal day at school, when all of a sudden, the school goes into lockdown.

"People need to hear what we have to say. It's important to know we need solutions and people need to know how kids feel when they're in situations like that," Briana Tatum said.

Briana Tatum is one of the students who acted in the video.

Kennedy Coleman worked on and acted in the video.

"It kind of made me think 'What are other people going to hear and what can this tell other people to make them think?'" Coleman said about working on the video.

For about 45 seconds in the video, students are shown hiding in a classroom.

The students narrate what would be going through their minds.

Martinsville Deputy Police Chief Robert Fincher recently became aware of the video and posted it to the police department's Facebook page Wednesday.

"When I heard some of their different viewpoints, it made me realize that yes, I probably would've been thinking the same thing during that time. But it also made me realize how this has become a scary part of our everyday lives," Fincher said.

He said hearing the students' thoughts can help law enforcement.

"By understanding what questions they have or what they're thinking, then maybe we can address those issues they have and help them out a little bit," Fincher explained.

That's exactly what the students, like Kambri Gilgore, who worked on the video want to hear as they see school shootings becoming more common.

"Kids need to have a voice in this," Kilgore said. "There are adults and other people that are going through rough times and that need help, so we all need to speak out and feel comfortable about speaking out."

The students encourage other young people to express their thoughts about school safety.

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