BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — CBS 42 hosted a “Community Conversation” on gun violence and its impact on youth.

High school students with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s Legacy Youth Leadership Program and the A.H. Parker High School Creative Minds Club agreed to write and share poetry about the effect of gun violence.

Their expressions give us all something to think about. Teens sharing their emotion about losing classmates to gun violence and asking the question, what is happening in our society that people would rather settle disputes with a gun, than talk it out. Their words are poignant and sobering.

“I think its them beginning to find and express their voice,” said Barry McNealy. He is a BCRI Historian and Social Studies teacher at A.H. Parker High School. He came to the CBS 42 studio with the students and their parents the night the students recorded their poems to be included in the “CBS 42 Community Conversation on Gun Violence: The Youth” which streamed on CBS on February 21st.

You can listen to the poems from the students listening to the video players above.