B-CC High Students To Hold Forum on Guns, School Safety

Event at Studio Theatre is part of a larger exhibit on teen perspectives


Screenshot from website for the Conference of Contemporary American Teenagers


Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School students are joining elected leaders, a Washington Post writer and a free speech activist on Tuesday for conference on gun control, school safety and other issues affecting teens.

The event at the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., will come on the eve of a national student walkout planned for March 14 to protest congressional inaction on gun violence. B-CC students are hosting the event to support the growing call for legislative change, led by the survivors of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school.

David Lopilato, a teacher at B-CC, said the shooting and subsequent response by teens around the nation have already sparked a number of conversations in the classroom.

“The discussions have been incredible,” he said. “The majority of students I talk to don’t see a solution that doesn’t include the word ‘banning,’” he said.

Sens. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Chris Murphy of Connecticut will join in next week’s discussion, as will Nick Anderson, a Washington Post reporter who covers higher education. Also participating in the event will be Mary Beth Tinker, a plaintiff in a famous Supreme Court case affirming students’ right to free expression. Other leaders and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland have been invited, according to the release.

The main panel talk, which will run from 5 to 6 p.m., is part of a larger exhibit created by B-CC students to express teen viewpoints on a wide range of topics. The event, called the Conference of Contemporary American Teenagers, will last from 3 to 5 p.m. on all three floors of the Studio Theatre, the release stated.

Lopilato’s students in December made news for putting together a pop-up museum on the experience of contemporary teenagers. Some of the installations from the pop-up in downtown Bethesda are being featured at Studio Theatre, Lopilato said.

Those interested in attending the event at 1501 14th St. NW can RSVP online.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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