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Thousands of Denver metro students expected to walk out of class Wednesday to once again call for gun reform

Walkouts, marches come in the wake of continuous school shootings across the U.S.
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Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-05 11:49:05-04

DENVER – Thousands of students from across the Denver metro area and beyond are expected to walk out of class Wednesday to demand more be done by lawmakers to put an end to gun violence on school grounds in the wake of another deadly mass shooting in the U.S., this time at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tenn.

“Being a student shouldn’t be a death sentence but once again, gun violence has forced its way into our schools, leaving nothing but pain, trauma, and tragedy in its wake. We need more than thoughts and prayers. We demand action from our lawmakers now,” the organizers of the nationwide walkouts, Students Demand Action, said on their website announcing the protests.

Students from across the U.S. were encouraged to walk out of class Wednesday at noon and a "toolkit" posted on the organization's website provided guidance on how to demonstrate during the walkout.

Already ahead of Wednesday’s planned walkouts, students from several schools in Denver and across the metro said they would participate. 

“Unfortunately, Colorado has had Columbine as one of the first and worst school shootings and one of the most recent school shootings occurred at East High School,” a student from Lakewood High School told Denver7 in an email where he announced students from the school would be participating in the walkout. “The leading cause in deaths of students are firearms and the ill regulation from government has caused students to be afraid to go to school and that shouldn't be the way it is.”

After the shooting at their school, East High School students want these changes now

Indeed, research from the Kaiser Family Foundation published last year showed the U.S. leading other wealth nations in gun-related deaths among children. In all, researchers found the U.S. accounted for 97% of gun-related child deaths, despite representing less than half of the total population among other wealthy countries combined.

More alarmingly, a survey published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found 1 in 4 Colorado teens said they could quickly get access to a gun within 24 hours.

“We are walking out of our schools again to make sure lawmakers know that we need gun safety at all levels,” the organizers said in their call to action to students across the country. “We know this work takes all of us, and that’s why we are continuing to make sure that when we walk into school, we are guaranteed to walk out.”

It's unclear how many students will participate in the walkout, but Students Demand Action said they were aware teens in Denver, Aurora, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Northglenn, Highlands Ranch, Evergreen, and Lafayette would be participating Wednesday. Other students outside the Front Range who learned of the walkout by word-of-mouth are likely to participate as well.

If students from East High School participate, it’ll be the third time the school body will walkout out class to demand gun reform since early March.

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