COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster spoke frankly against the actions of students across the country who participated in National Walkout Day just one month after 17 people were killed in a shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
David Hoggs, a student at that school, later responded to McMaster's comments on Twitter.
Addressing members of the media at the State House, McMaster called the demonstration shameful, and that the protests are a tactic implemented by a left-wing group and use teens to disseminate their political agenda.
"I understand that there is a left-wing group that is coordinating this around the country," McMaster said. "I think the children, it appears that these school children - these innocent school children - are being used as a tool by these left-wing group to further their own agenda. It is not about the tragedy, it's not about the school children or what we should all do and what these students should do."
The governor went further to express his point.
"I imagine a lot of them intend to do is pray and to hope for the families of those who were slain," McMaster continued. "But 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. 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."
Thousands of high school students across the country, including in South Carolina, participated in various demonstrations. Several schools opted for demonstrating inside their school and others did alternative protests such as prayer vigils, kindness acts, and more.
National Walkout Day was held one month after 17 people - including 14 students - were killed at the hands of a single gunman on Feb. 14 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hoggs responded to McMaster's comments on Twitter.
You can see the entire video of McMaster's statement here.