It was scary, disappointing and sickening to see how quickly the Florida students who called for stronger gun control measures following the tragic shooting at their high school became the subject of conspiracy theories, even reaching cable news and spurring the firing of a Florida lawmaker’s aide.
Scary because of the speed of which these groundless claims spread. Disappointing, even in this era of fake news, how many people believed it and sickening that there are some who continue to do so, even when they know better.
The accusation that the students are paid “crisis actors” is the ultimate fake news and insulting to the students, their families and especially to those who lost their lives in this senseless shooting.
Many social media sites took action to remove the erroneous videos and postings, but they should have acted faster. To all of those who shared these postings, which have gone viral, shame on you.
We should be supporting these students, listening to their pleas for a conversation to be started and taking action to prevent these types of shootings.
These students have become a mobilizing force, planning marches and rallies, and speaking to lawmakers — all while grieving and coming to terms with what happened in their school. And they’ve proved quite capable of defending themselves. They have shown more maturity and wisdom than many of our elected officials. We hope they don’t lose any speed.