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'Dear America:' A letter from Generation Z on gun violence

Local students explain school shooting fears from a student's perspective

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Two local high school students joined with their classmates to create a film on gun violence that has already gone viral.

The nearly four-minute film posted on YouTube, titled "Dear America," conveys a message Montverde Academy junior Molly Smith and Windermere High School junior Sage Croft wanted to create together. 

"I feel like there is really no better time for our generation to speak up," said Molly Smith, who thought of the idea. 

Smith said she wrote a poem after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016. However, after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018, she rewrote it from a student's perspective, partnering up with Croft to take on the idea and turn it into a film. 

"As soon as she showed me the script, I knew it was something special," Croft said. 

The two then asked for their classmates to volunteer for the three-day shoot. Smith said Montverde Academy was supportive and let them film there. 

The four-minute film shows the perspective of how gun violence has impacted students in the hallways of elementary, middle and high schools. 

"Dear America, how many final texts will students have to send to their parents under a desk to be safe again?" the script asks. 

Both Smith and Croft said the point isn't to be political, it's to spark conversation. 

"I know a lot of adults are afraid to talk about gun violence but the more it happens, the more we need to," Smith said.

Croft said unity is what's needed most.

"It's just the left screaming at the right, the right screaming at the left, and we need to come together to find a solution to this," Croft said. 

Click here to watch "Dear America" in its entirety. 


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