Local teens talk about what it's like living in fear of school s - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local teens talk about what it's like living in fear of school shootings

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KENNEWICK, WA - When older generations went to school, they practiced fire drills and learned stop, drop and roll. Today, students do lockdown drills. They've learned 'run, hide, fight.' It's a sad reality that teens are thinking about life and death in the context of a classroom. 

Benjamin Ullman and Graysen Rhoten are students at Southridge High School. They say they think about the possibility of a school shooting every day.

"Did you hear there's this guy from Richland saying he's going to shoot up our school," said Ullman, describing what he heard during a school threat he went through."Let's leave so we don't get hurt and stuff like that."

He, like so many students across the country in this situation, texted his mom that day when he heard the rumor in the hallway.

"Then she said something like, what is going on? I kinda said, it's just a rumor but I don't know. I said I'll keep telling you what's going on. But yeah, it was definitely scary," said Ullman.

When schools go on lockdowns, substantiated or not, students and teachers get locked in their classrooms. They hide in corners away from windows. Sometimes they don't know if it's real or not. 

So, what do the teens think in those moments?

"Just didn't want to leave the classroom until the bell rang because don't really want to get caught out there," said Ullman.

"Am I living life so that when I go out I'll be remembered as a good person," said Rhoten.

All too often lately there have been fake threats called in or posted on social media.

"It's really not a joke because, I mean, you're talking about murdering people who haven't really got to live their lives yet," said Ullman. "I'd just say, it's not cool because we still need to learn and when you have that on your mind it kind of makes it impossible."

These two teens offered a few solutions of their own:

"Put some upgrades," said Ullman. "Maybe like metal detectors at each door. And parents locking up their guns a little better."

"What really needs to happen is school administrators and us as students really be more aware of these signs and do what we can to help to prevent stuff like this from happening," said Rhoten.

Of course, these are just two opinions out of thousands and thousands of high schoolers in the United States. They also offered the idea of everyone being nice to one another. The two believe schools are doing what they can to address  bullying and making sure students know to say something if they see or hear something odd.