Education

Colorado Students Grow Angry At Vigil’s Politicization, Some Walk Out

SHUTTERSTOCK/ Thanamat Somwan

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

A group of Colorado students walked out of a vigil held Wednesday for classmate Kendrick Castillo, who died after lunging toward one of the shooters at STEM School Highlands Ranch.

Eight other students were hurt in Tuesday’s shooting, and two teenage suspects are under investigation.

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The gymnasium at Highlands Ranch High School was packed with students and community members for a vigil in honor of Castillo. Gun control group Team Enough organized it, according to KRDO.

“This was not a vigil, this was merely a political stunt,” one male student said, KRDO reported.

The state’s Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Democratic state Rep. Jason Crow spoke at the event.

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“We live in a great country, but we need to fix these broken gun laws,” Bennet said.

A Moms Demand Action volunteer also spoke at the event, saying she advocated for gun sense legislation and “working hard to elect gun sense candidates like Jason.”

“I am very disappointed to admit that all the generations before yours made this harder,” the woman said. “We became paralyzed by the NRA [National Rifle Association], we did not hold our elected officials accountable.”

The male student clarified to the audience that students were not kicked out, but chose to leave the event, according to KRDO.

“We didn’t want Kendrick to be a prop, we wanted Kendrick to be mourned,” the male student said. “We all walked out, we were not kicked out despite what you have heard, now we’re back to tell you that we love Kendrick and we love all of the survivors.”

Another female student said she was Castillo’s close friend and wanted to talk about him at the vigil. (RELATED: Sheriff: 2 Suspects In Custody Following School Shooting Outside Denver, 8 Injured)

“I just wanted to talk about him a little bit and everybody has been here talking about gun violence and avoiding the fact that he died,” she said.

Douglas County School District Public Information Officer Paula Hans told The Daily Caller News Foundation over email Thursday the district “did not organize any of the vigils held last night.”

Team Enough and the NRA did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

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