Students have walked out of a vigil for a STEM School shooting victim after Democratic politicians and gun control activists turned it political.
The vigil was held late Wednesday at the STEM School in Highland Ranch, Colorado, and was supposed to honor Kendrick Castillo, a senior at the school who charged the shooter. He was shot and later died.
Rather than focus on Castillo and the other students who charged the two gunmen, the vigil was actually a carefully orchestrated political rally.
Students who attended were largely unaware the vigil was organized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a left-wing organization that advocates for gun control. The organization also invited the press to cover the event, and scheduled a number of speakers to call for gun control. It is not clear why the school administration agreed to hold a political rally disguised as a vigil at the school.
Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Jason Crow, who are both Democrats, are the speakers at the vigil. They began speaking about pushing Congress for gun control, which rubbed students the wrong way, who felt their grief was being politicized.
According to a report in USA Today, about a helf hour into the “vigil,” hundred of frustrated students began walking out, chanting “this is not for us,” “political stunt” and “we are people, not a statement.”
The students then held their own vigil outside the STEM School, holding lit cellphones in the air. They mostly refused to speak to journalists, insisting they did not want their actions politicized.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issued an apology afterward, stating “We are deeply sorry any part of this vigil did not provide the support, caring and sense of community we sought to foster and facilitate and which we know is so crucial to communities who suffer the trauma of gun violence,” the statement said.
Students at the STEM School had held a private vigil earlier in the day, and did not allow reporters to attend.
Their actions earned praise from many on social media. “Kudos to these kids for refusing to be a weaponized talking point while mourning this terrible event. The adults in the figurative room should be ashamed of themselves.”
Kendrick Castillo, and avid hunter who was a week away from graduation, was killed and eight students were wounded Tuesday when two teens opened fire at the STEM School.
Not much is known of the two shooters, both students. However, reports say one was a transgender teen upset with other students, and the second posted angry anti-Christian and anti-Trump messages on social media.
Here is video from USA Today on the vigil walkout.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 9, 2019
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