School security: 'We go through jail life'
3 July 2015 Last updated at 17:11 BST
Many students across the US must undergo security screening before entering their schools each day - including placing their bags in x-ray machines and walking through metal detectors.
Security guards, police officers or both are often working on the premises.
A Washington DC after-school programme called Critical Exposure brought a group of students together to discuss how this impacts their education.
Over the past year they photographed symbols of security in their schools, and met school officials to voice their concerns.
Police say security is necessary to keep students safe - particularly in areas with gang-related activities.
This video is the first in the BBC series Summer in the City, which will speak to young people across the US about the issues affecting their communities.
Produced by Lynsea Garrison and David Botti