By Steve Pickett

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Teenagers made sure their voices were heard today at a Dallas Independent School District forum on guns and school safety.

“A student brought a gun to school last week,” one teenager told the group.

“In our school last year, a kid brought in a gun,” another teen added to his selected team of eight students’ conversation.

“Why aren’t we doing more to address mental health instead of guns?” another teen asked.

Leaders from the community advocacy group Urban Specialists, Inc partnered with Dallas ISD to bring 200 students from various high schools, to openly discuss violence, guns, safety, security and solutions during the midday forum.

teen forum Dallas ISD Students Discuss School Safety And Guns

The answer is us,” Urban Specialists Director Omar Jahwar said to the students. Jahwar said many local teens have friends or family who have died from gun violence. He said no one should be surprised to find Dallas students struggling with violence as a tool to use against someone else.

The forum focused on asking those same struggling kids to value themselves enough to walk away from violence. Student Jada Washington said more teens need to embrace the safety forum theme: See Something, Say Something, Do Something.

“We are the students . We know what’s going on, whether we tell teachers or not. This is why we need to stand up and stop it. There’s a solution right there.”

DISD officials said the forum is critical for building better bonds with students.

“They see things. We want them to tell us. But the next step for today is what are we going to do as a group. What can kids do, what can we do? That’s the big thing for us. See something, say something… do something,”  Assistant Superintendent Sherry Christian said Tuesday.

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