Melania Trump has finally spoken out about the Parkland school shooting, and her remarks are very different from her husband’s response. The First Lady gave her first public speech of 2018 on Monday and spoke out about the brave survivors and student activists who are pushing for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the tragedy.
Since the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 people dead, survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting are organizing an event to advocate for gun control. The March for Our Lives, set for March 24, has also attracted famous supporters, including George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga.
Melania’s husband, President Donald Trump, has not taken a strict stance on gun laws or discussed improving mental health resources in schools in the wake of the tragedy. Instead, he proposed a controversial movement to arm teachers. In her first speech about the shooting, Melania addressed what her husband has not by praising the students for working to change gun policies.
“I want to be sure we take a moment to reflect on the horrific shooting in Florida. Our continued thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by such a senseless act. As a parent, I cannot imagine the kind of grief and tragedy like that brings. And I hope and I know we all find ourselves wondering what we can do to help,” she said, according to CNN.
“I have been heartened to see children across this country using their voices to speak out and try to create change. They're our future and they deserve a voice. I know all of you are seeing this in your own states and territories too. And I believe that if we all come together, we can start to affect positive change for our children and help prepare them for their futures.”
“It is important that as adults we take the lead and responsibility in helping our children manage the many issues they're facing today. This means encouraging positive habits on social media and technology. Even limiting time online and understanding the content they are exposed to on a daily basis,” Melania added.
Her words, though, are meaningless if not followed by action. In the days before her speech, 14-year-old Parkland survivor Lauren Hogg tweeted to the First Lady. “Hey [FLOTUS] you say that your mission as First Lady is to stop cyberbullying, well then, don’t you think it would have been smart to have a convo with your step-son [Donald Trump Jr.] before he liked a post about a false conspiracy theory which in turn put a target on my back,” she wrote.
Melania has not responded to the tweet.