An aide to a Florida legislator was fired on Tuesday right after claiming that two survivors associated with the mass capturing at a Parkland high school were “ actors” and not actually students, echoing a conspiracy concept that has gained traction upon social media following the deadly attack.
Benjamin Kelly, an aide to Representative. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa), reportedly penned the particular false claim in an “ unsolicited” email sent Wednesday to the Tampa Bay Times’ Wa bureau chief Alex Leary. In the note, Kelly suggested that will Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, were actually “ stars that travel to various crisis if they happen. ” He also delivered Leary a link to a conspiracy movie on YouTube.
Hogg, 17, and Gonzalez, 18, are among a singing group of young gun violence survivors who have risen up to call for stricter gun manage laws since final week’ s mass shooting within Parkland, which left 17 deceased. Conspiracy theorists have attempted to undermine their activism by suggesting, such as Kelly did, that the survivors are usually “ crisis actors” or becoming utilized as political pawns .
The response to Kelly’ s remarks has been swift and scathing. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla. ), who has arrive under scrutiny this week for failing to back up gun control efforts , mentioned the people pushing such conspiracy ideas were a “ disgusting number of idiots with no sense of decency. ”
“ We are CHILDREN — not actors, ” wrote the classmate of Hogg’ s plus Gonzalez’ s upon Twitter. “ We are KIDS who also feared for our lives while somebody shot up our school. ”
Fl House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) fired Kelly just hours following the controversial remarks went public. He or she expressed shock and anger on Kelly’ s claim and released an apology to the students.
Harrison also condemned his former help, saying he was “ appalled at and strongly denounce their comments about the Parkland students. ”
According to the Washington Post, Kelly afterwards verified on Twitter that he’ g been “ terminated from the Condition House. ”
“ I made a mistake whereas We tried to inform a reporter info relating to his story regarding the school shooting. This was not the responsibility. I meant no disrespect to the students or parents associated with Parkland, ” he wrote.
Kelly’ s Twitter handle appears to have got since been deactivated after this individual reportedly tweeted a quote from your Bible: “ And you will know the reality, and the truth will set a person free. ”