How anti-gunners (activists, organizations, and politicians) politicized a tragedy: the STEM school Highlands Ranch, Colorado shooting

As we all know, on 5/7/19 two gunmen entered STEM and opened fire, wounding 8 and killing 1. The young man who was killed (Kendrick Castillo) gave his life to assist bringing an end to the shooting.

The day of the shooting, the politicizing of it began. This is a CORA (Colorado Open Records Act) we obtained that describes the order in which the “vigil” was formed:

Through another CORA request, we stumbled upon the Union President in question offering “support” prior to vigil. Email chain was not related to shooting at first, but a response changed that:

Kallie Leyba is the President of the Douglas County Federation, which is the teacher’s union for the Douglas County School District. Leyba released a statement on behalf of the DCF the day of the STEM shooting:

So now, let’s connect the dots to make sure we have the right person in which the Brady Campaign contacted in order to hold an event.

-She is the local union president, so

-Brady had people (students) in the school where the vigil was to be held, so

-Her child was a class of 2018 graduate of HRHS, she knew some of the students, so another (from December of 2017, which means her son was class of 2018 if a senior)

She also sent out a tweet on the night the shooting occurred about a planned vigil to take place at Highlands Ranch High School:

The following day, she sent this out, as it had been organized:

If you click on the link in the tweet, it takes you here (it is a Brady Campaign event):

And the host of the Brady Campaign event (website)? A Progressive (Democrat) site for organizing (partisan, which the event was supposed to be a vigil, not a political rally):

Now, the CORA (first one) states that Kallie contacted the Team ENOUGH students at HRHS about holding a vigil. Well, there’s more to it than that, which brings us to Emily Muellenberg, a teacher at HRHS:

On Oct. 19 through Oct. 21, social studies teacher Emily Muellenberg, senior and Falcons For Progress president Maddie Crea, and senior Niaz Jamshidi traveled to Washington D.C to attend the Student Gun Violence Summit. At this summit, Muellenberg, Crea, and Jamshidi, along with about 100 students and 50 educators from across the United States, assembled to discuss the gun issues in America. 

  While in Washington D.C, these 150 students and educators wrote a students’ bill of rights for schools across the country to reduce gun violence. When talking about the students’  bill of rights, Crea said, “It’s 15 points put together about what students want to see changed in our education system in terms of school safety, community safety, mental health, and legislation.” 

  This Student Gun Violence Summit was created after the Parkland shooting occurred in 2018. A group of students from organizations such as Students Demand Action and March For Our Lives came together to create a student advisory board to plan the Student Gun Violence Summit. “From the beginning, the end goal was to have a document that said how students feel,” Crea said, “and it’s not just about students that have survived from school shootings, but also kids that are allies and from places all around the country.” 

  Muellenberg, who is an active member of The American Federation of Teachers, was introduced to the idea of attending this event from the president of the American Federation of Teachers. The president thought it would be good if Muellenberg went, knowing that she works with many student advocacy groups. Mullenberg said, “She thought that if I went, I could help connect the group of kids who might be the right kids to send forward into this project.” 

  Muellenberg also discovered that she had a passion for the Student Gun Violence Summit. She said, “To me, gun violence is not a partisan issue. To me, it’s not about the second amendment. It’s about the requirement that Americans help keep each other safe, and I figure in a school,  we’re all at risk all the time, and that is just an uncomfortable feeling, and if I can help in any small way, I’m in.”

  Since returning from the conference, Mullenberg, Crea, and Jamshidi look to bring the information they learned from the summit back to HR. Crea said, “FFP is going to start working towards promoting this issue, gun violence, and the first thing is educating people.” She went on to elaborate on how she doesn’t want it to be a partisan issue. She said, “It doesn’t have to be a liberal idea or a conservative idea; it’s just keeping kids safe in school.” 

  Muellenberg hopes to continue her involvement with the Student Gun Violence Summit in the future. She said, “This means enough to me, and especially after working with these kids, I owe it to them to keep it going. I can’t let them down.”

Muellenberg is also the sponsor for the HRHS chapter of Team ENOUGH (bet you didn’t see that coming):

“We are profoundly sorry,” said Emily Muellenberg, the teacher sponsor of Team Enough at Highlands Ranch.

Now, let’s fast forward to what happened at the vigil.

As you see, the STEM students saw right through what the vigil actually was. It was a gun control rally in which gun control groups (specifically the Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action via Laura Reeves) and Democrat Colorado politicians used to push gun control, not be non-partisan and honor the hero student who was killed.

Fun fact about Laura BTW, she’s buddies with Shannon Watts (national leader/founder of Moms Demand Action, the queen more of politicizing shootings):

Now, above in the Denver Post article, Emily Muellenberg stated that the “students put the vigil together”. She also stated that in her apology about the event on behalf of Team ENOUGH/Brady Campaign:,280541

Editor’s note: The following letter was written by Team ENOUGH Colorado sponsor Emily Muellenberg, who said it was delivered last week to the school board, STEM School Highlands Ranch, event speakers, the principal of Highlands Ranch High, the director of security for DCSD and the student organizers in the spirit of restoration. Muellenberg is one of the vigil organizers.

An open letter to the Highlands Ranch Community:

I would like to begin by first profoundly apologizing to anyone who was upset by the vigil at Highlands Ranch High School last night. It was of course as far from our intent as could be. I also want to take a moment to clarify a few points that might help people process, listen, reflect, and heal. In the raw moments of tragedy, we all respond so differently, and we all need so many different things, myself included, evidenced by this project and this letter. I hope this provides something for you.

First, it should be made clear that the event was not a Highlands Ranch High School sponsored event. The gym was theirs, some of us on the organizing team are Falcons, but that is the extent of the school’s involvement.  As members of Team ENOUGH Colorado and the Highlands Ranch community, we wanted to offer our organization as a resource to host an event that could bring the community together. Team ENOUGH is a national organization that is the student arm of Brady, a gun violence prevention non-profit organization …  (Brady) frequently reaches out to communities impacted by gun violence because it has resources and tools on survivorship, grief, and community building. This was the purpose of our involvement here, and not political, as Brady strives for bipartisan solution-seeking…………………

As for the students who organized the event:  They are exceptional. They threw themselves into this project as a way to give something we thought was much needed to this community, and I believe that given the attendance size, they were right; this was a needed event.

Well……not entirely true. Via another CORA request:

Emily spent much of 5/8/19 planning the vigil during the school day. You can clearly see she was putting the Brady Campaign’s priorities over her duties as an educator.

After the backfiring of the incident she planned, when the press reached out to her prior to writing her letter to the community, she even gave the press statement of the Brady Campaign:

So what have we learned from all of this? We learned that anti-gun activists will jump at the opportunity to use dead/wounded children to advance the causes of organizations they belong to. We learned that anti-gun politicians love the spotlight to use dead bodies as a campaign platform. We learned that the adults are in fact the ones behind the scenes organizing these “student led” gun control events. We learned that some students see through the BS and are willing to stand up to it and not be used as pawns in an agenda.

Kallie Leyba, SHAME ON YOU!

-Emily Muellenberg, SHAME ON YOU!

-Laura Reeves/Moms Demand Action, SHAME ON YOU!

-Elected officials that used the suffering to gain votes, SHAME ON YOU!

-Brady Campaign, SHAME ON YOU!

-Students of STEM that made a stand, WELL DONE!

****Special note: The Douglas County School District itself had no part in the planning of this political rally. It was all organized and planned by outside entities and insiders working on behalf of outside political organizations and groups.


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