Editor’s note: Matt Kroschel walked alongside the students from East High School to the Capitol and talked with them while he was live on Facebook. Read his notes on the experience and watch his entire video below.
DENVER (CBS4) – Arriving at East HS at about 9:45 Wednesday morning — media, parents and police were already gathered outside the front doors of the school. In the distance the chants from students at a nearby high school could be heard as they made their way to East to join in the protest there.
The students joined thousands of other young voices across the country in similar walkouts at schools in every state.
Student leaders brought out the hundreds of students from inside the bricked building. They poured out those doors for several minutes, before students took to the microphone to address the crowd.
A survivor of the Columbine High School shooting was asked to speak. She then started to sing, that drew tears and clapping.
Emotions were running high. These kids do care.
I came across one student during the hour plus long video. Matthew spoke about his fear.
He spoke of his anger that these attacks on young people keep happening. He is not old enough to vote, yet he was not going to stay silent.
At CBS4 — showing these images while walking along with the students in a live and unedited format would help give people not actually at the event a true, unedited front row seat to what these students wanted to say, free of the edits and any bias. I made it a point to talk with as many students as I could.
Alone, I walked, as the group of young energy poured onto 16th Street and towards the Capitol. Along the route, people came out of their homes in a show of support. We talked with them.
I must admit I was a bit surprised at how well prepared the random students we spoke with were. Their comments carried a similar tone, end the violence and gun control reform. We pushed them on those issues for specifics. Your comments on our live feed helped fuel those conversations.
The marchers made the turn onto Sherman, within a few blocks of the Capitol grounds. The chants became much louder. Denver Police and Colorado State Patrol stopped traffic as the hundreds of students and their teachers marched across Colfax and to the steps of the Capitol.
Some lawmakers were on the steps of the building waiting for them. Cellphones recording the student’s effort were out in full force. Finally, after a few minutes of more chanting, Gov. John Hickenloper came outside and addressed the crowd. He told them to keep up their efforts.
The chanting continued. Some students headed back to campus. Back to the schools many of them fear.
PHOTO GALLERY: Thousands Of Colorado Students Participate In Walkouts