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Students from East High ask city council to help stop gun violence

On Feb. 13, 16-year-old Luis Garcia was shot near East High School. Tuesday, his soccer teammates and classmates asked the Denver City Council for help.

DENVER — A week after someone shot their 16-year-old friend near school, students from Denver East High School (EHS) asked for help.

Some spoke in front of Denver city council members during public comment Tuesday night to tell them they don't feel safe and that the violence needs to stop.

"Gun violence in schools is not going to be accepted anymore," one student said.

The students spoke wearing state championship jackets for a soccer teammate who wasn't able to be there. Luis Garcia, 16, was shot near campus last week. While the boy fights for his life, his friends felt it's important to speak up.

"Luis is a super strong kid," another EHS student said. 

"When it happens to someone so close to you it really puts it into perspective," another student said. "We have been inspired to come here and instill change, and we hope and challenge you to do the same."

The soccer coach, Kirk Bast, felt their pain before he made another trip to the hospital to see Luis. 

"I almost wish they would, as part of their tenure, have to see somebody in intensive care and see what the reality is, and maybe that would lead to action," he said. "I don't know what motivates a person as a leader in the community to say 'I am going to make a difference,' but I hope it does."

A former EHS teacher also spoke in front of the council.

"I am so tired of having to explain to children why we need to set up the GoFundMe campaign to support the livelihoods of their classmate's families," the teacher said.

They hope a moment at the podium can help encourage change in the future. 

"I am here to listen to our students. I hope you do as well," the teacher said.



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