EDUCATION
01/17/2013 04:55 pm ET | Updated Mar 19, 2013

Gun Violence A Common Occurrence For Students In New York City High School

As the gun debate continues across the country, many lawmakers and parents are asking the question of "what if?" But for students like those at one high school in the Bronx borough of New York City, the question isn't "if," but "when" guns make an appearance.

On the day President Barack Obama announced sweeping gun control proposals, a teacher participating in MyBlockNYC's education documentary program took to uncovering just how exposed these teens are to gun violence.

Students were asked questions like, "How many people hear gun fire in the neighborhood on a regular basis?" and "How many people know someone who's been shot and killed?"

The number of hands that shoot up in response to the question is perhaps testament to support Obama's proposed $150 million "Comprehensive School Safety Program" that would help school districts hire guards, counselors and other staff.

The proposals come one month after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that renewed national interest in gun control, and just as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law, passing the "toughest gun control package in the nation."

Leaders of 87 private schools in the New York City metro area also published an open letter to political leaders Thursday, urging lawmakers to do "everything necessary to stem this tide of senseless gun violence."

PBS NewsHour also talked to students for suggestions, receiving recommendations that ranged from installing metal detectors in schools to programs that deal with mental illness.

Watch the full survey video above, courtesy of MyBlockNYC.

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