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SoCal high school students make doc to commemorate Sandy Hook

Some of the student filmmakers at High Tech High in Chula Vista, CA, for
Some of the student filmmakers at High Tech High in Chula Vista, CA, for "Beyond the Crossfire."
Matthew Simon

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One year ago this weekend, 20 students and six staff members were shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Newtown is thousands of miles away from southern California, but the events of that day hit hard with the students at High Tech High in Chula Vista. A group of 45 students there are holding a Kickstarter campaign to film a documentary about gun violence. They have already raised more than $27,000.


"This project is about empowering kids to voice their opinions," says junior Carlo Gomez. "It's not about adults solving problems. We're trying to go out to places and hear opinions from other kids that don't usually have a voice in such a big topic."

The original goal of $18,000 will go towards basic filmmaking equipment, and Gomez says extra funds will be used to send groups of students to places where gun violence exists, like Chicago, Detroit, and Newtown, Connecticut, itself. 

"We are not focusing on gun rights or gun control," Gomez says, "We're trying to find problems that relate to gun violence, so if it has to do with will power or have to do with funding our mental hospitals more."

The students' Kickstarter campaign ends this Saturday, the one year anniversary of the shootings at Newtown. The hope is that their documentary will be finished by the end of the school year or into the start of the next, making this a long-term and personal project for this class.