NEWS, POLITICS & ACTIVISM — March 13, 2018 at 8:38 am

MSD students are accused of being “crisis actors”

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Senior Emma Gonzalez shows her Eagle pride as a student at MSD during fourth period on March 13. Photo by Delaney Tarr

After the tragedy occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, many students took matters into their own hands to promote legislative action to improve safety in schools. Many students participated in the growing Never Again movement, which advocates for putting an end to mass shootings through increased gun control, led by several MSD students, including seniors Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg and junior Cameron Kasky.

The growth of the movement was accompanied by a growth in conspiracy theories. Many people started accusing these leader of the movement of being crisis actors and not wholehearted students. At the moment, kids and even adults are accusing the courageous students of Douglas as actors. People are saying that these students do not even attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas, but are actors who exploit these disasters.

Benjamin Kelly, a Florida Republican aide, was fired due to the accusation of survivor speakers of MSD as crisis actors. He posted a tweet, now deleted, saying both kids in the picture are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen.” Another post from twitter by @tokaise read, “EXPOSED: school shooting survivor turned activist David Hogg’s father in FBI, appears to have been coached on anti-Trump lines.”

Gonzalez, in particular, has garnered significant attention from her public displays of her opinions on gun control and the incident at MSD. Her powerful and courageous voice pointedly criticized American politicians for being so easily swayed by money than by the people who voted them into office.

“We are tired of being ignored. So we are speaking up for those who don’t have anyone listening to them, for those who can’t talk about it just yet, and for those who will never speak again,” Gonzalez said in her interview with Bazaar.

Despite her sincere intentions to improve safety in American schools and her very real experience with the shooting, people behind the screen of a computer have attempted to invalidate her attempts. Several outspoken students have received similar responses from skeptics, but many continue to fight back.

“I’m not a crisis actor. I’m someone who had to witness this and live through this, and I continue to be having to do that,” Hogg said in an interview with CNN.

Hogg has received one of the worst backlashes from the public, with an abundance of people spreading false rumors on social media calling him a crisis actor.

Hogg’s family went to the FBI to report the online threats they have been receiving after an unspecified threat that they believe was notably concerning.

“Me and my family have been receiving a lot of social media threats, especially my brother who has been receiving mostly death threats,” freshman Lauren Hogg said.

The FBI later tracked down the source of the threat and found out that they lived in Canada, later contacting the Canadian police. Lauren Hogg has been receiving several threats as well due to her familial connection to David Hogg.

“I have been having a lot of inappropriate things said to me, I think because I’m a girl. I think it’s truly horrible, but at this point I kind of expect it and I laugh it off, and it’s kind of sad that I’m 14, and I’m more mature than most of the adults sitting behind their computer screen,” Lauren Hogg said.

As a result of these accusations of being “crisis actors,” many students of MSD have actually thanked them. David Hogg stated in a CNN interview that he thanks the critics for the advertising. Most people would feel angered at the theories of them being actors, but the student leaders are taking this as a chance to show the world the movement. The Never Again movement triumphed against the NRA with changes in the laws already occurring.

Ever since they started attacking me, my Twitter followers are now a quarter of a million people,” David Hogg said.

Despite criticisms, accusations and outright hatred, the followers of the Never Again movement have continued their momentum toward achieving their goals.

Joyce Han

Joyce is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She plays tennis and loves food and music.

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you for your voice and your bravery. You are too young to have this responsibility and to deal with this BS, but the work you have done in 6 weeks, will keep growing and never stop. I drove by your school everyday for 3 years while working at Sawgrass Rec Park in the Everglades, driving airboats, trying to follow the ideals of a 100 year old woman, who at a young age, in a different time, took on civil rights and womans suffrage. (River of Grass, great book)

    I also spent 6 years in the Army, during that time I carried and M60, M16, while roaming around the DMZ in Korea. The day I left the army, I have never owned or needed a gun. Its not rocket science, civilians don’t need the same weapons as the Army. I know a lot of Veterans who would be proud and honored to defend our schools. Asking a teacher to take a gun course is insane, they need to teach.

    Never stop, never be silenced, and keep swinging at these idiots.

    Stay strong, and safe, and thank you.

    David
    Philly PA

  2. Anita C. McGuire

    Please know how proud I am of your strength and courage in the face of adversity. As a 67 year old adult, I feel the adults of our nation owe your generation a sincere apology. I personally felt there was no hope for the future of our country until youth showed us the way. Now I have hope that perhaps in my lifetime we will see major changes. It is such a tragedy that so many have perished to have this happen and I am devastated by that. Voting out the greed and cowardly control that is in government now is our only hope. You have my full support! I will be there to vote at every opportunity if I have to crawl to get there.

  3. Students form a rating system NAR (Never Again Ratings) which evaluates and makes public politicians who are running and whether or not they take funding from the NRA.

  4. Ms. Han, your article about Parkland students being crisis actors denies the fact that many are indeed Crisis actors. A 15, 16, or 18 year old cannot enter into any legal contract without parents cosigning or signing as responsible parties.

    While the event at your HS were tragic there remains much evidence that had current laws in place been followed the unfortunate death of classmates and teachers could have been avoided.
    The FBI and local law enforcement ignored too many warning flags prior to the shooting.

    Blaming guns for accidents is like blaming motor vehicles for death in accidents involving cars, trucks and other vehicles.

    Are you and your classmates aware that most states and cities have laws and funding the affect what must be made known to the state in the case of mentally ill and dangerous individuals. Washington DC can provide supplemental funding to aid states. Florida laws can be different than laws in California, Oregon, South Dakota.

    Study your world history and learn that when governments disarm the citizens you have a Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot able to exterminate any who disagree with official policy or even suspected of disagreeing with policy.

    The Second Amendment was meant to assure an armed citizenry who can defend themselves in the event of a not so benign government ever achieving power here.

    While much student activism is to be lauded. There are many including Mr. Hogg, who are turning into media darlings. In the case of Mr. Hogg he has demonstrated that he too has turned to bullying those that disagree with him. A students freedom of expression does not trump the freedom of expression of any media type who criticizes Mr. Hogg.

    Your first steps into the larger and complex world that adults function in have been tentative and not always well thought out. On your own, having to earn an income, pay bills and potentially raise a family at some future date will change your view of the world and how it functions.

    Building relations with people on both sides of an issue is more useful and less dramatic than publicly bashing one you disagree with.

    Look for opportunities for common ground or compromise. Demanding specific changes in a crisis will often result in lost opportunities and dialogue ending rather than growing and continuing.

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