South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) on Wednesday blasted the national student walkout as a “shameful” attempt by left-wing groups to push their own political agenda.
"It appears that these school children, innocent school children, are being used as a tool by [this] left-wing group to further their own agenda," McMaster told South Carolina public television network ETV.
“This is a tricky move, I believe, by a left-wing group, from the information I’ve seen, to use these children as a tool to further their own means,” he continued. “It sounds like a protest to me. It’s not a memorial. It's certainly not a prayer service. It’s a political statement by a left-wing group and it’s shameful.”
"What we should all do and what these students should do — I imagine a lot of them intend to do — is to pray and to hope for the families of those who were slain," McMaster said.
High school students in cities across the country including Washington, D.C., marched out of their classrooms for 17 minutes on Wednesday to protest gun violence a month after 17 students and faculty were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
The movement was organized by student survivors demanding that lawmakers take action on guns.
David Hogg, 17, one of the most vocal Parkland students who has been advocating for gun control since the shooting, took to Twitter to respond to McMaster’s comments.
“Those future voters will not reelect you and outlive you too," Hogg tweeted.
He added he "can’t wait to see what the history textbooks our generation writes will have to say about people like you" while referencing the First Amendment.
That's fine those future voters will not reelect you and outlive you too can't wait to see what the history textbooks our generation writes will have to say about people like you https://t.co/96wQvE1cNA *cough cough its called the first amendment.— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) March 14, 2018