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Denver students walkout to protest school violence

Posted at 11:45 AM, Oct 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-31 19:25:12-04

DENVER — Students at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College walked out of class Tuesday morning to protest school violence.

Hundreds of students were seen walking out of classes at the school located in Denver’s Green Valley Ranch neighborhood around 10:30 a.m.

Denver7 spoke with students who participated in the walk out, who said they want DPS to do more to keep them safe.

"It's important to do this, because there's a lot of violence going on, not only in this school, but in any other schools," said student, Oscar Xocol, "We try to say something, but they really don't do anything."

The student-led protest was organized to draw attention to school violence, more recently an incident involving four people attacking a student outside the school.

"He was just walking out of school and he got jumped for no reason," added Xocol.

"It can happen at any time, you know, from anyone," said student, Jonathan Liebana, "And since there's no one here to do anything about it, you know, it's dangerous to even go out there."

Several videos circulating on social media show a boy being attacked. The mother of the victim told Denver7 Monday that the school failed to reach out to them after the attack.

“We haven’t heard anything,” said Jeanette Lara, the mother of the victim. “Not even, ‘Hey, how’s he doing?'”

“They haven’t reached out,” said the boy’s aunt, Cynthia Lara. “I feel like they don’t care.”

The women, who both work at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College, said the attack Wednesday was unprovoked and may have been a case of mistaken identity.

“I don’t know why,” Jeanette Lara said. “He was just standing outside with his friends. He was just telling them, ‘No, you’ve got the wrong person. You’ve got the wrong person.’ Because they were looking for somebody.”

The boy suffered a concussion and is still recovering, according to his mother.

“Make us feel safe,” Cynthia Lara said. “It’s not the first time something like this has happened. Nothing changes.”

In a statement, Denver Public Schools spokesman Scott Pribble said the district is "committed to ensuring that our students have a safe environment from which to learn every day."

It goes on to read: "Our strategic roadmap issues a call to action to our students to fully engage in their educational experience and voice their concerns as they arise. While it is hard to hear that some of our students don’t feel safe, it is vital that we honor their voices, and learn more about their concerns."

The family has been in contact with attorney Matthew Barringer, who is representing the family of Luis Garcia. The 16-year-old was shot and killed outside East High School in February.

Denver students walkout to protest school violence

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