There are a lot of things that make us angry. From the heartbreaking stories that emerged from the #MeToo movement to the terrifying amount of gun violence in America, anger is inevitable. It even feels like nonstop outrage, which we know can be exhausting. However, the news that survivors of the Florida school shooting are facing intense cyberbullying makes us *beyond* livid.
We’re not going to skirt around this issue. We’re not going to talk about both sides, and we’re not going to pretend that any of this is okay.
Because it isn’t. This isn’t okay.
First, we dealt with people making the vile claim that some of the Parkland, Florida students were so-called crisis actors. These are teenagers who have already faced unimaginable pain, and who are understandably outraged at the suffering they’ve been forced to endure while our politicians continue to do nothing. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School really should have been the end of this conversation. But more than five years later, we’re still here with no solutions, going in circles and having the same conversations.
Now, students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are facing death threats and cyberbullying. And we cannot contain our disgust.
Cameron Kasky, the 17-year-old survivor who unabashedly demanded answers from Sen. Marco Rubio at the CNN town hall, received so many death threats that he had to leave Facebook.
Then there’s Lauren Hogg, a 14-year-old survivor who lost four friends in the Florida shooting. Lauren appealed directly to Melania Trump on behalf of herself, her brother (fellow Parkland survivor David Hogg), and the rest of her family after Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet that seemed to legitimize a harmful conspiracy theory.
According to the first lady, cyberbullying has no place in this country. The Parkland survivors simply want her to follow through on that message.
Regardless of where you stand on gun control, this isn’t acceptable.
Cyberbullying is never okay. We stand with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and countless others around the country to say “enough.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing cyberbullying, here are some things you can do. Also, always be sure to report harmful behavior on social media if you see it happening. Hatred is never an effective solution, nor will we allow it to silence us from supporting what we believe in. We can only hope everyone remembers that kindness should come before a political agenda.