By: Teresa Mull
Students who survived the recent shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado walked out of a vigil being held for their fallen fellow student when adults at the event politicized it.
USA Today reports:
The event Wednesday was primarily billed as a vigil to honor Kendrick Castillo, who was fatally shot in a rampage by two students at the STEM school here. Speakers at the school's packed gymnasium, however, were mostly politicians and advocates pressing Congress for more restrictive gun laws.
After about 30 minutes, hundreds of students from the STEM School stormed out yelling "this is not for us," "political stunt" and "we are people, not a statement."
“What happened at STEM is awful, but it’s not a statistic,” one student told 9News. “We can’t be used for a reason for gun control. We are people, not a statement.”
“I thought this was about us, not about politics,” said another.
“The gathering at Highlands Ranch High, one of several held Wednesday, was organized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence,” The Washington Post reports.
The Brady Campaign has since been forced to issue an apology for the political stunt.
“Many students appeared unaware the event was organized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Jason Crow, both Democrats, both spoke at length about the need for federal action,” USA Today reports. “The Brady Campaign invited reporters to cover the event.”
USA Today also reports its interview requests “were rebuffed; multiple students said they had agreed not to talk to journalists.”
CNN reports an anonymous parent expressed concerns about student violence at STEM.
“...The district sued the anonymous parent, ‘Jane Doe,’ for spreading what they called ‘defamatory statements’ about the school,” CNN reports.
Frustrated, crying and angry, #STEMschool shooting victims hold an impromptu vigil in the rain Wednesday after leaving a gun-control vigil they felt inappropriately politicized their trauma. (They asked that I not photograph their faces close up, and I respected their wishes.) pic.twitter.com/cksRXGtYQA— Trevor Hughes (@TrevorHughes) May 9, 2019
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.