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The event was in the works long before what happened Friday morning, but the latest shooting brought new urgency to the night's search for solutions.
Catharsis on Stage
The students performed what they called, "A Night for the Fight Against Gun Violence." It was short plays, monologues, and a documentary -- dramatizing their demand for a political response to the nation's mass shooting epidemic.
In wake of #TexasSchoolShooting, “A Night for the Fight Against Gun Violence” at Carrboro High.— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) May 19, 2018
We’re also talking to the Raleigh high schooler behind @nctownhall about the new urgency for political response to mass shootings. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/aFSpREDlwv
"There's just so much that I feel like can be going on that's not going on with our legislators," said Carrboro High student actress, Ellyana Atwater. "So we have to make sure that they hear us. And I think that's the most important thing that we are trying to do tonight."
Desensitized to Tragedy
Greear Webb is a Raleigh high schooler leading an effort at Sanderson High to fight off the desensitization these massacres can bring -- like what he heard in the hallway about the number of dead as news of Santa Fe began to spread.
"I heard, 'At least it was only 10 (people dead) this time,'" he recalled. "And that was just saddening, really."
The Los Angeles Times updated its database of gun violence at American schools: Since Sandy Hook, a gun has been fired on school grounds nearly once a week.
NC Town Hall for School Safety
Searching out solutions is the focus of a special town hall at Sanderson High School on May 29.
Webb and his classmates are organizing the event with politicians, mental health and security experts. He's convinced events like this can make a difference.
"I think they really can as long as that leads to action," Webb said. "As long as the community has that open dialogue with their legislators, I think that can lead to action."
The North Carolina Town Hall for School Safety is scheduled for Tuesday,May 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Sanderson High. Webb and his classmates set up their own Twitter page for the event. They fashion themselves as young leaders -- driving the conversation about school safety.