A Parkland Survivor Wrote A Scathing 'NYT' Op-Ed Challenging People Who Say Students Should've Befriended Shooter

Isabelle Robinson, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a survivor of the shooting in February, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times that fights back at the idea that school shootings could be avoided if students simply befriended the shooter. 

Robinson opens the New York Times opinion piece with an anecdotes about a time when Cruz threw an apple at her in the middle school cafeteria. She explains that when she turned around to see who had done this, Cruz’s “eyes were lit up with a sick, twisted joy as he watched me cry.”

Robinson also notes a time when she was assigned to tutor Cruz. In hindsight, she said, she realizes that the school left her with “a student who had a known history of rage and brutality.” She recounts how Cruz would curse at her and stare at her chest while she tried to help him. 

Time Magazine talked with Jeff Temple, a psychologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, about reaching out to students who end up committing acts like school shootings.

Temple said that it’s important to reach out to lonely classmates, but “if we start identifying people as potential mass shooters, they’re going to feel even more marginalized, stigmatized, traumatized.” Temple also highlighted that it is not a student’s job to stop a school shooting.

Robinson highlighted the same point in her op-ed. She said that “students should not be expected to cure the ills of our genuinely troubled classmates, or even our friends, because we first and foremost go to school to learn.”

Robinson’s full op-ed gives an inside look at the trials and tribulations of being a teenage girl, the complexities of school shootings, and the dangers of the #WalkUpNotOut movement. It can be read in full on The New York Times website. 

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