Photo: Larry French / Stringer/Getty Images

Claim

David Hogg wasn’t present at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, the day of the shooting. Hogg is actually a student of Redondo High School in California.

Rating


FALSE

Origin

Conspiracy theorists are fueling the media with claims that David Hogg has admitted he wasn’t even at school during the Parkland shooting! They are questioning his credibility as a student activist and journalist, especially concerning his calls for greater gun control in America. Others are also claiming that Hogg actually went to Redondo Union High School in California and is an actor! These claims are questioning Hogg’s character and his commitment to his fellow students. Find out the truth of the matter here.

Ever since David Hogg, a student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, became a vocal advocate of more stringent gun laws, conspiracy theorists have been targeting him. They are trying to discredit him and are questioning his character ever since he has become an unwilling spokesman for millions of students.

Attacks Intensify after Speech

The attacks on David Hogg have become more vicious and personal, especially after he gave an emotional speech at the March for Our Lives demonstration. It took place on March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C., and 800 other locations across the U.S. and the world.

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During the demonstration, Hogg said that students want safety and wish to prevent another shooting from ever happening again.

The Latest Accusation

David Hogg is now facing more accusations made by far-right blogs like RedState.com and the right-wing media. They are claiming that he wasn’t even present at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on the day 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people and injured many others.

The Parkland Shooter

Cruz, who had earlier been expelled from the school before the shooting, came armed with guns on February 14, 2018. He opened fire, targeting students and staff indiscriminately.

nikolas cruz

Photo: Wikimedia

A total of 17 people died and many others were injured, even as the authorities arrived at the school to begin their efforts to nab the shooter. Cruz was later taken into custody, but the damage had been done.

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Claims by Right Wing Media

The right-wing bloggers and the media are claiming that Hogg said he was at home when he heard the gunshots and the fire alarm. And by his own admission, he had to ride his bike for at least three miles before he could reach school.

These media outlets are basing their claims on a fragment of an interview that Hogg gave to CBS, in which he spoke about his immediate reaction to the shooting.

We at EarnTheNecklace.com decided to get to the bottom of this matter and find out the truth for ourselves.

What Did Hogg Say?

Hogg had said in the CBS documentary, “On the day of the shooting, I got my camera and got on my bike and rode as fast as I could three miles from my house to the school to get as much video and to get as many interviews as I could because I knew that this could not be another mass shooting.”

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Statement Taken Out of Context

Red State.com said that if Hogg was at home at the time of the shooting, then how could he have ridden his bike and covered three miles so quickly to be present at school at the time of the shooting?

It would have taken the student at least 15 to 20 minutes to reach Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. So, why was Hogg talking about being at school when he was actually at home? Did Hogg even make that statement?

He did make the statement (as you can see in the video above), but no where does he actually say when he grabbed his camera and raced to the school. As the young journalist that he is, he could have raced home after the shooting, grabbed his camera, and then raced back to the school to interview his fellow students on the tragedy. It is an assumption to presume he meant he was not actually present during the shooting and therefore cannot be confirmed.

Effort to Undermine Hogg’s Credibility

Undoubtedly, this is the media’s attempt to undermine Hogg’s his credibility as a shooting survivor. They are painting him as an unethical “crisis actor” who is taking advantage of a tragedy to get his 15 minutes of fame.

The accusation has been taken up by others on social media and since then, many have assumed truth to the claims and are angry at Hogg’s call for greater gun control laws.

Hogg Actually Heard Gunshots

The claim that David Hogg admitted he wasn’t at school is completely false. An excerpt from his full interview was taken and made to appear as though he said was not at school during the shooting.

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What actually happened was that Hogg was sitting in an AP Environmental Science class at the school on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, when he heard a “pop” at 2:30 p.m. He immediately recognized it as a gunshot.

Hiding in a Closet Saved Him

David Hogg then heard the alarm bell ring and knew for sure that a shooting was in progress at the school. So, he and some other students hid in a closet.

While in the closet, they kept hearing gunshots. And Hogg felt that he might not live until the end of the day.

However, the truth of the story is that Hogg survived and eventually went home. He came back to school in the evening on his bike with his camera so that he could get as many interviews as possible from people at the school and those who lived nearby. (Just as we suspected!)

Hogg’s Exact Words

The high school student said, “At 6 pm after the shooting, I took my camera, got on my bike. I rode in basically twilight. And I ride my bike three miles down winding sidewalks and find my way to the school, as I’ve done in previous years. All the while, I was making sure my camera bag didn’t rip open, because if you zip it a certain way, the camera falls out, and it would be destroyed.”

It is clear from Hogg’s full statement that he was very much at school when Cruz began shooting people and not at home like others are claiming. His presence can also be verified by several students and teachers who were at school during that time.

So, all these claims that Hogg is a liar and opportunist are completely false!

Another Outlandish Claim

Another claim that is making the rounds in the media and Internet is that Hogg is not even a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School but was a student at Redondo Union High School in California.

People are claiming that they went to Redondo Union High School with Hogg and he graduated in 2015. They say that Hogg is an actor and always wanted to work for CNN.

Closer Look Reveals Truth

A closer look at a yearbook photo shows that this claim is also a hoax! Hogg is a legitimate student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as there is a student two rows above him in the photo who is wearing an “MSD Eagles” school shirt.

Even several of Hogg’s classmates have pointed this fact out. So, it is clear that this is a hoax meant to destroy Hogg’s credibility.

Hogg did live in California for a while. But he and his family relocated to Florida when Hogg had to begin his high school studies.

Although Hogg has gone back to California to visit a few times, he is very much a resident of Florida. He was certainly not in California at the time of the Parkland shooting.

Was David Hogg Present During the Shooting?

Based on what Hogg actually said about being at school at the time of the shooting and the various reports from credible media outlets like CBS and CNN (not to mention the witnesses who confirm he was there), we conclude that he is really a student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and not Redondo Union High School in California.

We also conclude that David Hogg was very much present at school during the shooting. The claims made by these right-wing media sources are completely false.

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