The mother of a student who survived the deadly Florida high school shooting said her family has received death threats in the wake of the tragedy.
Student David Hogg and other survivors of the Florida shooting have made frequent media appearances in recent days to call for renewed action on gun violence. They have since become the subject of conspiracy theories falsely claiming they are actors who were coached ahead of their television appearances.
Hogg’s mother, Rebecca Boldrick, told The Washington Post her family has received death threats online since the conspiracy theories surfaced.
“I’m under so much stress,” she told the Post.
“I’m angry and exhausted,” she continued. “Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”
Hogg has spoken out in recent days against the conspiracy theories against him, saying he is not a “crisis actor” but is someone who had to live through this tragedy.
“It’s annoying. I hate it. But it’s part of American democracy,” Hogg said in a phone interview with the Post. “Am I an actor? No. Am I a witness? Yes.”
Earlier this week, a Florida state lawmaker’s aide was fire hours after claiming two survivors of the Florida shooting — including Hogg — who had appeared on television were actors.
Benjamin Kelly, an aide to state Rep. Shawn Harrison (R), emailed a Tampa Bay Times reporter after Hogg and Emma González called for legislation to stop gun violence in an appearance on CNN.
According to Tampa Bay Times reporter Alex Leary, the staffer said, “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) later tweeted that he fired Kelly.
Survivors of the shooting have spoken out in multiple interviews against gun violence. Some appeared Wednesday night during a CNN town hall, in which residents of Parkland, Fla. were given the chance to question Florida lawmakers and a National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman.
Students in schools across the country this week have also staged walkouts and marches to demand action on gun control.