As summer comes to a close and kids start going back to school, there is one school getting more media attention than most others.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the February 14 shooting, is in the spotlight as teens from the Parkland, Florida, community began a new school year this week.
This past Tuesday — August 14 — also marked six months since the shooting, putting that subject at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Several teens from the school spent their summer as teen activists, both locally and nationally. Some students even took their “March For Our Lives” platform on the road in a 20-state bus tour.
David Hogg, one of the leading advocates for gun control among his classmates, has been busy organizing protests (complete with armed guards for himself), signing a book deal, and endorsing national political candidates all summer — but he has given locals in the Parkland community the short end of the stick.
Recently, Hogg called on parents around the country to get out and be proactive in their communities. “To any parent reading this: save us, vote, work on political campaigns, knock on doors, run for office and be the change because our politicians won’t be.”
Hogg hasn’t taken any of his own advice, however.
According to Parkland locals, the teen hasn’t knocked on a single door in his own community as the Broward County school district prepares to have elections for new school board members.
Ryan Petty and Lori Alhadeff are both Parkland parents who lost children in the shooting and their campaigns for the school board are centered around ensuring that no other parent has to go through what they have.
As Petty told the Sun Sentinel, “Every parent in Broward County deserves to have their child come home to them safely. I’m running to ensure what happened to my family and Lori’s family doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Alhadeff called for stronger safety measures and more transparency between the board and the parents of schoolchildren: “I want to ensure schools provide safety and a quality education, and there is transparency and accountability.”
Despite their efforts to genuinely create a safer community in Parkland, Petty and Alhadeff have received no support from Hogg — and the community has noticed.
It appears that Hogg has chosen the fame of the national spotlight over actually lending a hand to create change in his own district.
According to the Examiner, 19-year-old student Kenneth Preston said that “some who gained a ‘massive platform’ from the Parkland shooting have ‘forgotten what happened here at home and have neglected the local election.’”
Preston added, “They haven’t dedicated any of their time to the school board races.”
Hogg has tweeted multiple times in recent weeks about the need for young people to get out and vote, and yet he refuses to practice what he preaches.
In sharp contrast, conservative activist Kyle Kashuv has been actively supporting local candidates like Ryan Petty, even going so far as to make his own political ads for Petty’s campaign.
Kashuv also isn’t afraid to call out those he believes are falling down on their jobs, like incumbent school board member Donna Korn and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, both of whom he believes share some responsibility for the Parkland shooting.
Looks like David Hogg could learn a lesson or two from Kyle Kashuv.