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Gun violence summit focuses on solutions, specifically those provided by students after shooting near East High School

DPS holds summit to address student school safety after East High shooting
DPS holds summit to address student school safety after East High shooting 02:18

A gun violence summit hosted by East High School members of Students Demand Action was born out of fear... and loss.

"He was one of the best kid brothers that I could have asked for," Santos Garcia said.

Garcia lost his brother, 16-year-old Luis Garcia, last month. Luis was leaving the East High School campus on Feb. 13 when he was shot.

Luis Garcia CBS

In the midst of grieving, he says he needed to hear the discussion for one reason, "They said that we are in control of our security and how safe we are in this world, but we really are not."

The discussion focused on school safety and gun violence. 

"We hope for some productive concrete solutions something we can work toward," said Clara Toub, the co-president of the Students Demand Action organization at East High School.

They questioned school leaders, health professionals, law enforcement, and state and local officials about what is working... and what needs to change as well as whether officers should return to Denver Public Schools.

East High School Principal Terita Walker asked for action in that area specifically, "When you take something away you have to put something else in place." 


The response on that topic from other panelists that school resource officers alone are not an answer.

"We recognize this needs to be a youth-informed community-involved decision," Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas added.

Panelists pointed to focusing on student health, community change and stricter gun laws that limit access to weapons.

While Garcia felt the discussion was soft, "Pretty words, just pretty words no change." 

The expectation was not to solve every issue by the end of the night, but instead leave with the hope that they are moving in the right direction.

"It's a step, I hope it's not the last one," Garcia said. 

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