COLORADO SPRINGS — On Saturday, a rally for Safety in Schools took place on the steps of the Colorado Springs City Hall from 10 a.m. to noon.

The rally remembered the 21 lives lost in a school shooting that occurred in Uvalde, Texas. Those speaking at the rally also discussed safety in schools for all communities nationwide.

“There has been too much violence brought on by guns and it just has to stop,” said Doug Lewis, a rally attendee.

Joseph Shelton, the organizer of the rally and nominee for congressional district 5 Colorado State Board of Education, said they’re asking for action from government both locally and nationally.

“I’m hoping that our elected leaders at the local level, our county level, our state level and our federal level see that people want change,” Shelton said.

Shelton said that we shouldn’t still be talking about shootings.

“With the right laws and put in place with the right protections, put in place, this whole thing could have been prevented from happening. You know, a lot of nowadays, it’s a lot of politicians sending out their thoughts and prayers and thinking, okay, that’s enough,” Shelton said.

About 50 people showed up on the City Hall steps to rally. Credit: Rachel Saurer

Protesters said more protection is needed in schools.

“No student deserves to go to school in fear,” Shelton said. “No staff member deserves to go to school in fear. No parent deserves to drop off their student thinking, is this going to be the last time I’m going to see my [kids]?”

But, Lewis said arming teachers isn’t the answer.

“There is no way. They have enough on their plates as it is.”

Instead, protesters said to arm those who actually have training in protecting people and properly using weapons.

“We do need to arm our school security guards,” Shelton said. “They are there meant to protect our students.”

“There’s no reason for defunding police officers,” Lewis said. “We want to give them the tools to protect our schools, to protect our grocery stores, to protect our malls, to protect everything.”

As long as shootings are still topic of discussion, organizers said they will continue to ask for action from government leaders.

“We had Columbine in 1999. Why are we still working on trying to prevent this? We should have done this many, many, many years ago. We’re 23 years later,” Lewis said.

“We’re tired of thinking of leaders saying that we’re sitting on the backburner and not doing enough,” Shelton said. “We’re out here doing more than enough. It’s time that they see that we’re here. We’re not going to stop being here until our voices are fully being heard.”

Speakers included, but were not limited to the following:

From left to right, top to bottom: Rob Rogers (Colorado House District 14), David Torres, Joseph Shelton, Mischa Smith, Stephanie Vigil and AJ Sexton.
  • Joseph Shelton – Nominee for CD5 Colorado State Board of Education
  • David Torres – Candidate for Colorado U.S. Congress District 5
  • Jenn Williamson – Neighbors for Education Representative
  • AJ Sexton – Nominee Colorado State Representative District 15
  • Stephanie Vigil – Nominee for Colorado State Representative District 16
  • Mischa Smith – Candidate for Colorado State Representative District 17
  • Doug Lewis – Community Member
  • Senatore Pete Lee – Colorado State Senator District 11
  • Kelly Snyder – Wife of Representative Marc Snyder HD18
  • District Supervisor to Congressman Jason Crow CD6