Broward County

Parkland students named among the most influential people on the Internet

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky, center, talks at a press conference for the "March for Our Lives" movement at Pines Trails Park in Parkland, Florida, on June 4, 2018.
Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky, center, talks at a press conference for the "March for Our Lives" movement at Pines Trails Park in Parkland, Florida, on June 4, 2018. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High have been named by Time magazine as among the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet.

Time included a photo of Parkland students Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and Jaclyn Corin.

After 17 of their friends and faculty were killed in a mass shooting on Feb. 14, they quickly became famous for their response and activism. A Time post by former President Barack Obama applauds the students for holding America and people in power accountable.

"They have the power so often inherent in youth: to see the world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions and cowardice too often dressed up as wisdom. ... The power to insist that America can be better," Obama wrote.

The students are being honored for their Internet activism, and how they used Twitter to influence the public on gun control and school safety. Gonzalez now has more than a million and a half followers on Twitter, and other students have hundreds of thousands of followers.

In her electrifying speech, which has gone viral, Gonzalez called out the National Rifle Association, President Donald Trump and the neighbors and relatives of the gunman who knew about his erratic behavior but didn’t act on it.

Their influence on social media went beyond advocating, and they were able to use that influence to organize a historic march in Washington, D.C., in March — attended by hundreds of thousands — to rally for new gun control laws.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, prompted largely by the Parkland students, signed gun legislation that raised the minimum age to buy a firearm and started a three-day waiting period for the purchase of all firearms.

The students have started a summer bus tour to increase voter registration. Their first stop was on Lincoln Road in South Beach last weekend before heading to Southwest Florida earlier this week.

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