POWAY, Calif. — High-ranking federal officials met with students Monday to discuss mental health issues in the classroom.

Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Andrea Palm met with students ranging from 7th to 12th grade to discuss what they are emotionally dealing with at their schools.  

“There’s a lot of gun violence that goes around and a lot of people feel unsafe going to schools,” said Elizabeth Smith, an 8th grader from Bernardo Heights Middle School.  

“Last year, we actually had a lockdown for a shooting threat. It was really weird ’cause in the moment you don’t you don’t want to accept that. And then later, when you talk about, you’re like, wait, that was a really big deal,” said Sydney Roggeman, also an 8th grader.

Students discussed the emotional instability caused by drilling for mass shootings and threat lockdowns.

“They grew up in the Internet and they grew up drilling for shootings. So they have a lot of wisdom that they can offer to folks like us who didn’t have that experience,” said Scott Peters, a congressman representing the 50th district.

The meeting lasted two hours with wide-ranging topics from social media influences to accessing school counseling.

Students told FOX 5 they felt inspired to have the attention of the federal government and helping to lead the conversation for millions of school children in the USA. Students say with 24-hour information bombarding students are also recommending students and parents get classes on media literacy, helping people understand fact from fiction.

“We’re all in a world that’s very different, and sorting through what is real and what is not would be important and helpful skills for all of us to have,” Palm said.