February 28, 2018 9:27 pm
Updated: March 1, 2018 1:54 pm

Parkland student survivors fight back after being criticized for smiling on Twitter

WATCH: Palm Beach County deputies joined other south Florida law enforcement agencies on February 28, greeting students and staff returning to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the first time since a shooting left 17 teachers and students dead.


The survivors of a mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead continue to push back against people who attempt to discredit them.

The group of students, who have organized rallies and been outspoken with legislators and media, have refused to back down on gun control after their classmates and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. were attacked by a man with an assault rifle.

READ MORE: Florida shooting survivors react after state votes down motion on assault weapon ban

Over the weekend, actor James Woods posted a video of survivors Emma González, Cameron Kasky and Jaclyn Cori smiling and laughing while they were on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

He captioned it sarcastically: “Grief wears many faces…”

Gonzalez shot back on Twitter, saying that the argument against the students’ cause is “so weak and futile that they have to resort to attacking the people delivering the message.”

Gonzalez became well-known for her impassioned speech at an anti-gun rally in which she called “BS” on lawmakers and gun-advocates.

WATCH: ‘We call BS’: Florida students demand stricter gun control laws

Other survivors defended their classmates. Sarah Chadwick said that while people see them smiling and laughing, “what people don’t see is the panic attack we have, or how every time someone drops something heavy we all freeze.”

“You don’t understand so don’t tell us how we should be acting,” she wrote on Twitter.

Bystanders on Twitter also came to the students’ defence.

One therapist noted that “grief is complex” and said the lack of the “empathy” in another tweet slamming the teens was the more unusual event.

It’s not the first time the students have been called out for their emotions. The apparent media savvy of Gonzalez and fellow survivor David Hogg have led to them being labelled “crisis actors,” a theory that has been debunked and that they have vehemently denied.

READ MORE: YouTube removes conspiracy video claiming Florida school shooting survivor is an actor

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