After a shooting in a Parkland, Fla. high school last week left 17 people dead and more than a dozen injured, many survivors of the shooting have become public activists for nationwide changes on gun control.
The students have quickly risen to national fame, becoming the faces and voices for their community, and speaking out to local and national leaders about the changes they want. Together, they have formed the #NeverAgain movement to encourage Florida lawmakers to stop “choosing money from the NRA over our safety,” their Facebook page says.
Here are some of the teens from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who have been the voices behind the #NeverAgain movement:
Calderon was one of 100 survivors who traveled to the Florida Statehouse in Tallahassee, Fla. on Wednesday to meet with legislators and call for changes to gun regulation in the country.
Speaking in a news conference after a meeting, the 16-year-old said that he is “extremely, extremely angry and sad.”
“I don’t know if I will have faith in my state and local government anymore.”
He added, “People are losing their lives and it’s still not being taken seriously.”
Chadwick, a junior, quickly became a representative of the #NeverAgain campaign on Twitter when she tweeted a harsh message to President Trump that she doesn’t want his condolences — just gun control.
She later apologized for the crude language used in the message and explained in a separate tweet: “I’m a grieving 16 year old girl who lost friends, teachers, and peers yesterday. I was and am still angry. I am apologizing for my comment but not for my anger.”
González, a senior at the high school, captivated the country after she spoke at a rally on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Video clips of the speech she gave that day went viral, as her emotion and voice spread across the Internet and made her face a familiar one of the movement to curb gun violence.
“The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us,” she said at the rally. “And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call BS.”
Hogg’s pleas to the president and legislators this week have been replayed on news networks across the country.
In an interview this week on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Hogg, 17, pleaded with President Trump: ‘‘You’re the president. You’re supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us,’’ he said, and added: “How dare you.”
Hogg was also on CNN earlier this week to expunge a conspiracy theory forming that he was a “crisis actor” paid to visit Parkland, Fla. (and other locations where tragedy hits).
“I’m not a crisis actor,” Hogg told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I’m someone who had to witness this and live through this and I continue to be having to do that.”
If Kasky hadn’t already made a name for himself as a founder of the #NeverAgain movement, he certainly did so on Thursday night, when he confronted US Sen. Marco Rubio at a televised town hall in Florida.
Kasky, a junior, asked Rubio one of the defining questions of the evening: “Senator Rubio, will you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?”
Rubio didn’t give a clear answer at first, explaining to Kasky that people “buy into [his] agenda,” but Kasky continued to challenge him.
“In the name of 17 people, you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign?” Kasky asked.
“I think in the name of 17 people, I can pledge to you that I will support any law that will prevent a killer like this getting a gun,” Rubio responded.
Zeif, 18, was one of the survivors of the shooting to visit the White House this past week and meet with Trump.
In a point of comparison, Zeif emphasized to Trump that Australia placed severe restrictions on semiautomatic rifles in response to a mass shooting in 1996, pleading that the United States try a similar policy.
“And you know, after that, they took a lot of ideas, they put legislation together and they stopped it,” Zeif said in the meeting. “Can anyone here guess how many shootings there have been in the schools since then in Australia? Zero. We need to do something.”Material from the Associated Press and The New York Times was used in this report. Felicia Gans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.