The news event that I chose to discuss is The Parkland Shooting that occurred in Parkland, FL on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and what resulted because of the shooting. Being a Florida resident myself (I live in Miami, FL), I was beyond shocked that something like that occurred in that city as I have visited Broward County often and would never think that such a violent and heinous crime could be committed in such an nice, quiet, and unassuming neighborhood such as Parkland. The shooting is considered to be one of the largest school shooting to date and resulted in 17 deaths and 17 wounded (Chuck, Johnson, & Siemazsko, 2018). The perpetrator, Nickolas Cruz, was arrested and charged with 17 counts of pre-meditated first degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first degree pre-meditated murder, coming to 34 counts total (Kleinberg, 2018). As a result of the shooting, three Parkland students, Emma Gonzalez, John Kasky, and David Hogg, along with two other students, immediately became activists for gun reform and started a mass movement calling out politicians and the National Rifle demanding change. They devised the slogan “Enough is enough!” to embody the movement (Alter, 2018).
What made their efforts into a movement was the power of the media. Days after the shooting, the media was relentless in broadcasting the story worldwide whether it was on the internet, television, or social media. It even garnered the attention of high profile celebrities such as George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey who were said to have donated to the March of Our Lives event that occurred on March 24, 2018. Musicians, actors, and activities all came together on this day to support gun reform and protest all the while paying tribute to the victims of the Parkland massacre. The media played such a large role in creating the movement as noted by one of the Parkland students himself while speaking to a crowd of 100’s of people during the televised event. In an article published in Time Magazine, Alex Wind, another Marjory Stoneman Douglas student who is also part of the group Gonzalez and Kasky created, attributed the growth of the movement again to social media stating “People always say, ‘Get off your phones,’ but social media is our weapon,” says Corin. “Without it, the movement wouldn’t have spread this fast.” (Alter, 2018).
To apply theory to the #EnoughisEnough movement and conceptualize this event according to social-emotional development, one could attest that Social Learning Theory’s is applicable to the situation. The idea of “modeling” as proposed by Albert Bandura, is defined as “observing and imitating people who demonstrate appropriate behavior” (Berk, 2014). If the behavior is met with praise, there is an increased chance that it may be reinforced (Berk, 2014). In the case of Enoughisenough, the youth activists have acquired vast amounts of praise across the globe, so much so that they were able to create a large event and protest. In turn, this created a domino effect because seeing the Parkland students advocate has sparked other students to protest and advocate across the country as well. Students in schools are walking out of class as a statement for change. By demonstrating prosocial behavior, the activists are acting as models and in turn promoting the same behavior to be enacted by other students in other cities. Social media also contributed to this as I mentioned before being that students were able to communicate with one another and rally together. They were able to watch, as I did, on a digital device the birth of a revolution.
Shannon Deaton (2015) in her article on social media and social learning stated it very eloquently, “It is unsurprising that technology eventually provided a platform to digitize the nuances of human experience”. Communication now according to Deaton (2015) is not just one-way, but a multi-way conversation that can occur amongst a group of people, not just one. Social media has the ability to reach people near and fear and is what makes it highly beneficial especially in situations like the one I am discussing. Another concept of Bandura’s theory is the idea of self-efficacy, that someone personally believes that they could have an impact on something and how much of an impact they will have is crucial (Deaton, 2015). Deaton states it perfectly in relation to Social Learning Theory. She says that someone would be more likely to “exhaust all of their resources” in trying to achieve a social outcome if they believed highly in their own capacity to achieve that outcome (Deaton, 2015). Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and Cameron Kasky, albeit having to go to school like any other student are also doing their best to keep the movement going and have spoken up on news television stations, met with legislators in Tallahassee, and various other media outlets. They even have an office location nearby Parkland,FL to campaign on gun reform (Alter, 2018) and organize their efforts. It’s amazing to see how such a small group of people could ignite something so big and possibly spark change.
Alter, C. (2018, March 22). How Parkland Teens Are Leading the Gun Control Conversation. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from http://time.com/longform/never-again-
Berk, L. E. (2014). Development through the lifespan (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Chuck, E., Johnson, A., & Siemaszko, C. (2018, February 15). ‘Pure evil’: 17 killed in mass shooting at Florida high school. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from
Deaton, S. (2015). Social learning theory in the age of social media: Implication for educational practitioners. Journal of Educational Technology, 12(1), 1–6.
Kleinberg, E., & Palm Beach Post. (2018, March 8). Parkland shooter’s text moments before rampage: ‘No big deal. Nothing bad’. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from