A survivor of the deadly Florida high school shooting is asking First Lady Melania Trump to take her fight against cyber bullying to her step-son Donald Trump, Jr., after he promoted disturbing and false conspiracy theories about her family online.
Lauren Hogg — a 14-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — where 17 people were shot and killed by a alleged 19-year-old gunman earlier this month — wrote an impassioned series of tweets to the FLOTUS on Friday.
Lauren’s brother David Hogg, 17, has been an outspoken voice seeking stricter gun control legislation in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting. A student journalist, he recorded the attack in real time on his cell phone while also interviewing those huddled closest to him about how terrified they felt. He’s since appeared on news networks like CNN and programs like CBS’ Meet the Press to talk about the tragedy, leading the #NeverAgain gun control movement and challenging politicians and companies to no longer accept money from the NRA.
Since then, critics online have alleged that David was a crisis actor coached in his anti-Trump activism by his retired FBI agent father — conspiracy theories that drew more attention when Trump, Jr. “liked” them on Twitter.
The Hoggs’ mother, Rebecca Boldrick, has said the family has received death threats. “I’m under so much stress,” Boldrick told The Washington Post. “I’m angry and exhausted. Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”
Actions like that have “put a target on” Lauren’s back, she says.
“Hey @FLOTUS you say that your mission as First Lady is to stop cyber bullying,” Lauren wrote on Twitter. “Well then, don’t you think it would have been smart to have a convo with your step-son @DonaldJTrumpJr before he liked a post about a false conspiracy theory which in turn put a target on my back and created a safe space for people all over the world to call me and my family horrific things that constantly re-victimizes us and our community?”
“I’m 14. I should never have had to deal with any of this,” she continued. “Even though I thought it couldn’t get worse, it has because of your family.”
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She has since headed to the U.N. to talk about the cause, in a speech the Twitterverse found more than a little ironic back in September.
“It remains our generation’s moral imperative to take responsibility for what our children learn. We must turn our focus right now to the message and content they are exposed to on a daily basis — social media, the bullying,” Melania said at an event for spouses of world leaders at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
“When we join together as parents caring for children, whether they live in our own families, across the street, across the nation, or across the globe, we claim our responsibility to the next generation to ensure they are prepared to accept the torch of leadership for the world of tomorrow.”
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Melania’s husband, President Donald Trump, often uses social media to bash critics in harsh personal terms.
In June, Melania defended her husband (via a spokesperson) after he attacked Morning Joe anchor Mika Brzezinski on Twitter, claiming she’s “low I.Q.,” “crazy,” and alleging he once saw her “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”
“When her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder,” the first lady’s spokeswoman said at the time.