The mother of Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg is speaking out after her family received death threats because her son and another survivor were accused of being crisis actors.
Hogg and fellow students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have made frequent media appearances to call for action on gun control after Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people and injured more than a dozen others in a Valentine’s Day massacre.
The students have since become the center of a conspiracy theory claiming that they are actually actors who are coached before television appearances.
Rebecca Boldrick, Hogg’s mother, told The Washington Post that her family has received death threats since the conspiracy theories started surfacing, saying, “I’m under so much stress.”
“I’m angry and exhausted,” she added. “Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”
The student has asserted that he ‘s not a “crisis actor” but rather someone who witnessed a tragedy.
“It’s annoying. I hate it. But it’s part of American democracy,” Hogg said in an interview with the Post. “Am I an actor? No. Am I a witness? Yes.”
A Florida state representative’s aide was fired after he told a reporter that Hogg and another student, Emma Gonzalez, were crisis actors.
Benjamin Kelly, an aide to Rep. Shawn Harrison (R), emailed Tampa Bay Times reporter Alex Leary, saying, “Both kids in the picture are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen.”
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) tweeted later that day that Kelly had been fired.
“I was shocked and angry to read the appalling email about the brave students who traveled to Tallahassee today. Representative
@Shawnfor63 immediately contacted me and with his full support, I terminated the employment of the individual responsible,” Corcoran tweeted.
He followed up with another tweet apologizing to the students, “On behalf of the entire Florida House, I sincerely apologize to the students targeted and again commend them for their courage through this unspeakable tragedy.”