House Dems want to hire Parkland students for the summer
House Democrats are working to hire students from Parkland, Fla., the site of a deadly school shooting in February, to work on Capitol Hill over the summer in order to train them to become better activists.
Lawmakers told NBC News that they are asking their colleagues to open their offices to the students, possibly as part of an internship program.
“We think it would be a great experience for them to be on the Hill to see exactly how things operate — or doesn’t, to some degree — but also to have time with these very special young people that have experienced something that none of us ever want to have experienced and I think we can learn from each other,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), who leads the House Democratic Caucus.
“They will have opportunities to interact with people who don’t agree with them,” Crowley added. “I think they will all learn from the experience, even folks who don’t agree with them will hopefully learn from them being here and vice versa.”
Crowley joined several other Democratic lawmakers, including Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D), who represents Parkland’s district, in sending a letter to lawmakers this week urging them to offer internships and other learning opportunities to the students.
“I would be thrilled if a significant number of them came up here and spent the summer helping to learn the system better so they will be even more effective advocates going forward,” Deutch told NBC News.
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School launched a national campaign to combat gun violence and mass shootings after their school was targeted by a gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, earlier this year. More than a dozen students and staff died in the shooting.
In the months following the attack, the students founded the “March For Our Lives,” a national protest against gun violence that drew tens of thousands of Americans to protests in the streets of Washington, D.C. and other major cities.
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