An educator from Texas’s Irving Independent School District is under fire after she posted a reply to a tweet where she accused a survivor of the Parkland school shooting of being a “crisis actor.”
But math coordinator Julie Merrill, whose Twitter account the tweet came from, says she wasn’t the one who wrote it, claiming it was the result of some sort of glitch.
The tweet in question, which has since been deleted, was in response to a tweet posted by 17-year-old Florida school shooting survivor and gun control activist David Hogg. This Saturday, Hogg called on students to skip Florida for Spring Break as a protest against the state’s lack of action on gun control. The reply from Merrill’s account accused Hogg of being complicit in a mass conspiracy.
“Crisis actor,” the tweet from Merrill’s account read. “Don’t be fooled. Have you seen the laughing selfies with all the actors right before going in front of the press?”
The tweet was noticed by actress and comedian Sarah Colonna, who posted a screen shot to her almost 200,000 followers and addressed it to Merrill’s employer, the Irving ISD.
— Sarah Colonna (@sarahcolonna) February 25, 2018
Before deactivating her account, Merrill tweeted out the following explanation:
Evidently, when I clicked a link to read a post, somehow a tweet got reposted as me. I did not post anything about the recent tragedy. I am devastated by that awful incident. To make sure nothing else gets tweeted by a fake me, I’m pulling my account down.
Speaking to the Dallas News, Merrill said she had no idea how the tweet came to be, adding that she has “no idea” whether or not Hogg is a crisis actor.
“I have seen different posts about it,” she said according to the Dallas News. “I have no idea if it’s true or not. You know how everything you read on the web, you take it with a grain of salt.”
“How would I have any knowledge of that?” she added, signaling at least an open mind to the conspiracy. “I mean, I don’t know him. He could have been a victim going to that school, too. I have no idea.”
Whether or not Merrill will face disciplinary action from the school district remains to be seen. But according to a tweet posted to the Irving ISD official Twitter account this Sunday, district officials are investigating the matter.
According to conspiracists, Hogg and his fellow activists are actors paid to go on TV and promote an anti-gun agenda, which ultimately will lead to the government rescinding citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights. The conspiracy has spread like wildfire on social media and YouTube, and was even ‘liked’ by President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr.
Hogg even address the conspiracies during an appearance on CNN, telling host Anderson Cooper, “I’m not a crisis actor.”
“I’m someone who had to witness this and live through this, and I continue to be having to do that.”
Featured image via screen grab/YouTube