A group of California teens are coming together in a passionate call to action: for a "real plan" to keep schools as safe havens for students and educators.
The video, inspired by the "Demand a Plan" campaign released Friday by a bevy of Hollywood luminaries, is composed of 33 youth who say that the number of youth murdered daily -- 14 -- is "insane.... More guns are not the answer."
It also comes as the National Rifle Association reaffirmed its pro-weaponry position Friday by calling for armed police officers to be stationed in every school in America. The announcement marks the first time the NRA has made a public statement since last Friday's school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. The massacre killed 26 children and school staff.
Reactions to the suggestion have been strong. Teachers say they are "blown away" by "absurd" proposals to arm educators and school staff, and experts have pointed out that such a move would do more harm than good. The country's two largest teachers unions called the NRA proposal "delusional," "irresponsible and dangerous."
Columbine High School was equipped with armed security in 1999 that still couldn't stop the deadliest mass murder at an American high school.
"A solid plan doesn't begin and end with who has access to guns and how many police officers we have," David Valdez, director of the Youth Institute at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA said in a statement Friday. "Students want schools to be safe. But they are wary of solutions that only call for more police in schools. Instead, they're calling for more school counselors, mentors, health services on school campuses, and other approaches that help young people in need of support."
The video was funded by The California Endowment, a private health foundation that provides grants to community-based organizations seeking to expand access to affordable health care.
“Arming schools to the teeth is not the answer,” Robert Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment, said in a statement Friday. “We need to prevent these problems before they happen, and that means a coordinated approach that includes a more sensible gun policy as well as more mental health services, more school counselors, and collaboration with law enforcement and other social service agencies for early identification and assessment of people who might pose threats to school and community safety. We all have a role to play in encouraging people to seek help when they need it.”
Watch what the teens have to say in the video above.