In Their Own Words: Christian Teens on School Shootings

Maina: “How do you think Jesus would feel if he were here, physically.  Obviously he is with us at all times. What do you think he would do today? What would he have done today?”

Andres: “He would have spoken.”  

Maina: “Do you think he would have walked out?”  

Andres: “I think he would have been the person to call everybody’s attention and say that he’s here to be there for them.  He’s here to heal everybody from that kind of pain and he’s here to be able to show us that we’re in his hands and our life is within him and we should just be able to trust him and put our faith into him and everything will be alright.  And that’s just how it’s going to turn out.”

Maina: “Anybody else?”

Tyler: “Agreed, 100 percent.”

Rylee: “Yep.”

Claire: “I think, again like before I said, I doubt, I hope a school shooting wouldn’t happen at our school just because I know all the precautions that our school is doing to prevent it from happening but I think for me, just after that happened I had to constantly know there’s a possibility but at the same time I’m trusting in God and having my faith has really helped me just get through those kind of thoughts sometimes  but at the same time I think if Jesus were here, kind of like what Andres said I think he—I don’t know if he would have walked out necessarily because I think that something that I consider—because Jesus really focused on the kingdom, the future kingdom, about saving souls, and this is kind of like a political statement so I don’t know necessarily if he would have taken, that this was a battle worth—you know how you have to pick your battles sometimes, I don’t know if this would have been a battle that he chose just because of the motive behind it but…….”

Maina: “Let me ask you this question, you’re saying a lot of great stuff, why do you think this was a political statement, political issue?”

Claire: “Because ultimately, I think the message this is bringing by walking out, many schools walking out, I think the message is for them to bring change. When they first had the speech in Parkland, in Florida, they were talking about how they need to change the laws and they need to ban guns and those kinds of things and I think that’s talking about the law and how they can change things. This is kind of a continuation of the government having to act, to take action, bringing it to light.”

Maina: “Very interesting.  Anybody else? Last question. I promise this is your last one. Your friends and the media, it’s come up several times in this conversation and of course, I’m on the other end of that, so I do want to know about this one.  What do they think of the media? What’s their view about that. Do they think it is fake news?”

Nick: “A majority of it is.”

Maina:  “A majority of it is?  Anybody else?”

Tyler: “I think it just kind of depends.  Because I think a lot of people are like, ‘yeah, I believe everything the media tells you. They’re never gonna lie to you.’  And I know people who are like, ‘the media, nah.’ That’s fine. I think there is a middle ground to where you’ve got to find that there is truth to what they’re telling you but your can’t take everything you know from the media. You can be like ‘Instagram is the only way I’m going to get my news.’ ‘Fox news is the only way I’m gonna get my….’ You have to be able to…”

Andres: “Spread out.”

Tyler: “Yeah, yeah.  You have to be able to spread out and find that middle ground.”

Maina: “Do you think the media was used for good or bad in this case?”

Joel: “Bad.”

Nick: “I think it was used for both.”

Tyler: “Both.”

Rylee: “Both.”

Andres: “I think the media is good in the sense that they were kind of spreading the word about what had happened and what people think about it but it was bad at the same time because I’m pretty sure there were a lot of things saying, about the shooter saying, false things about him. There were definitely a lot of things wrong with him, don’t get me wrong on that but at the same time they were probably saying something about him being deranged or him being some crazy guy or something like that. I’m pretty sure, I heard he had some mental issues, confirmed by the police but at the same time maybe those are some things from PTSD or his experience from the past, it was never disclosed what he had those mental issues from.  So I think the media does spread around some “assumptions” I guess you could say, you know they’d probably say ‘he was born with this or his parents neglected him’ or something like that. I think it’s kind of used for the good and also for the bad.”