Students and parents came together last week to talk about whether young people feel safe at school during a WFDD town hall focused on teen voices. 

The evening at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem began with radio stories by student journalists. Topics included lockdown drills, sexual misconduct, in-school suspension, and what's it's like to be black in high school.

When moderator Gabriel Maisonnave asked the audience how many of them had experienced something described in the stories, almost everyone raised their hands.

Reynolds High School senior Zoe Brockenbrough thinks that there can be a disconnect between adults and students.    

“What I've heard from my peers is that they will come forward with an issue and they aren't taken seriously because either there wasn't any physical evidence to show that an issue was occurring, or the adult just dismisses it as something that they consider as child's play and not an actual issue,” she says. 

Other students shared their experiences during a recent lockdown. One attendee said the fact that there are only a few entrances to their school and many doors are locked makes them feel safer, but another student said this makes them feel trapped.

Reynolds Junior James Barnwell said he hopes administrators will offer more counseling services to help prevent future school violence. 

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