California teens “demand a plan”, add appeal for more counselors, health care

In the wake of the murder of 20 children and 6 staff at a school in Newtown, CT, nearly two weeks ago, 800 mayors and 800,000 supporters have signed on so far to Demand A Plan, an appeal organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns to stop gun violence. Last week, a group of California teens put together their own video to complement the Demand a Plan video in which artists — including Beyonce, Jamie Foxx, Carey Mulligan and Jason Bateman —  appeal to President Obama and the nation.

The teens go beyond demanding a plan to ask for more counselors, mentors, and health care in their schools. “If I mess up or have problems, give me

support,” they say. “Don’t just kick me out of school. And don’t lock down our schools.”

In a media release, Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of the California Endowment, which produced the video, said:

“Arming schools to the teeth is not the answer. 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.”

The teens in the video live in the 14 communities participating in the endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative.

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