Donald Trump supporters have come under fire for attacking survivors of the Florida shooting.
As students and parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and other schools across the US demanded a ban on assault rifles, claims continued to circulate from conspiracy theorists.
Some accused survivors of the shooting of being paid actors who appear at scenes of mass shootings.
Student David Hogg denied the allegations, telling CNN: “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.”
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said the claim was made up by a “disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency”, while an aide to Florida state representative Benjamin Kelly was put on leave after levelling the same criticism.
Claiming some of the students on tv after #Parkland are actors is the work of a disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 20, 2018
I was just made aware that my aide made an insensitive and inappropriate allegation about Parkland students today. I have spoken to him and placed him on leave until we determine an appropriate course of action. I do not share his opinion and he did so without my knowledge.
— Shawn Harrison (@Shawnfor63) February 20, 2018
Other critics picked up on the fact that student David Hogg is the son of a retired FBI agent.
One tweet sharing a video relating to the view with the text: “Outspoken Trump-Hating School Shooting Survivor is Son of FBI Agent; MSM Helps Prop Up Incompetent Bureau” was liked by Donald Trump Junior.
VIDEO: Outspoken Trump-Hating School Shooting Survivor is Son of FBI Agent; MSM Helps Prop Up Incompetent Bureau https://t.co/AYCNLlXJqx
— Thomas Paine (@Thomas1774Paine) February 20, 2018
And others pointed the finger at students, suggesting they should be mourning their friends’ deaths rather than protesting on the issue of gun regulation.
And one girl who told the US President to “shut the f*** up” in the wake of the shooting also responded to suggestions that she may have been some kind of plant.
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One fellow Twitter user questioned commented: “It’s quite interesting that the children survivors haven’t even buried their friends, grieve, get over shock but have had the time to plan for a march, come up with a creative hashtag, get their story to all media outlets all in such a short amount time…..”
The girl, named ‘Kyra’, responded: “Many of us have been attending funerals everyday since Friday. Having to see our friends in caskets is the reason why we are speaking up and making time for activism. So until you go through what we are going through, you have no right to criticize us.”
Others also hit back at the critics.
For those of you out there saying that certain students are paid actors should be ashamed of yourself. I know these people. I see them at school everyday. I have videos of shared memories with these people. Is it that hard to accept that child are actually making a difference?
— Morgan Williams (@morganw_44) February 21, 2018