PARKLAND, Fla. – In an op-ed published by the New York Times this week, Parkland school-shooting survivor Isabelle Robinson reiterated her classmates’ rally against the “plz no bully” response coming from some social media users. Responding specifically to the #WalkUpNotOut hashtag, Robinson says that the students bear no responsibility for the shooting, “even implicitly.”
“This deeply dangerous sentiment, expressed under the #WalkUpNotOut hashtag, implies that acts of school violence can be prevented if students befriend disturbed and potentially dangerous classmates. The idea that we are to blame, even implicitly, for the murders of our friends and teachers is a slap in the face to all Stoneman Douglas victims and survivors,” she writes.
Robinson goes on to refer to being assigned as Cruz’s peer-mentor, and claims she felt a surge of pride after helping him with his homework.
“As a former peer counselor and current teacher’s assistant, I strongly believe in and have seen the benefits of reaching out to those who need kindness most,” she writes.
She even admits 12-year-old her was naïve in assuming adults would ultimately take care of the situation.
This makes her concluding thoughts all the more bizarre:
“No amount of kindness or compassion alone would have changed the person that Nikolas Cruz is and was, or the horrendous actions he perpetrated. That is a weak excuse for the failures of our school system, our government and our gun laws.
“My little sister is now the age that I was when I was left alone with Mr. Cruz, anxious and defenseless. The thought of her being put in the same situation that I was fills me with rage. I hope that she will never know the fear that I have become so accustomed to in the past month: The slightest unexpected sound makes my throat constrict and my neck hairs curl. I beg her to trust her gut whenever she feels unsafe. And I demand that the adults in her life protect her.”
Robinson spends the entire article very appropriately describing the constant failures and shortcomings of the school administration, then she throws her hands up, says it’s not up to the kids and blames the system. She does makes one half-suggestion, which is simply removing “aggressive, unpredictable or violent” students from her school.
As an aside, she also displays a fair degree of sexism in the article, saying “Like many pre-teenage and teenage girls, I possessed — and still, to an extent, possess — a strong desire to please.“