George Clooney has penned a heartfelt letter to the students of the Parkland, Florida high school that was the scene of a mass school shooting in February that left 17 dead.
Writing in The Guardian Friday (March 23), the actor congratulated the students on their national campaign advocating school safety and gun control including Saturday’s (March 24) March for Our Lives demonstration which Clooney and his wife Amal have donated $500,000 towards.
Friday’s issue of The Guardian U.S. was guest edited by the staff of the Eagle Eye, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school student newspaper. The Eagle Eye is using the platform to cover the upcoming March for Our Lives as well as “heighten awareness of the issue of gun control and school safety to such an extent that the federal government can no longer ignore us.” The Eagle Eye had secured interviews with Senators Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio.
The Eagle Eye had also requested an interview from Clooney but he politely declined, stating that “young people are taking it to the adults and that has been your most effective tool.” He added that “anyone you ask would feel proud to be interviewed by you but it’s so much more effective if it’s young people.” He signed off by writing that the students “make me proud of my country again.”
Read Clooney’s full letter below.
Dear Emma, Lauren and Rebecca,
Thank you for your note and congratulations on the incredible work you and all of your fellow students are doing to make the country a safer place.
It’s terrific that you’re editing the Guardian. It’s a stellar newspaper and they must feel honored to be working with you.
Amal and I are 100% behind you and will be marching in DC on the 24th, but we both feel very strongly that this is your march. Your moment. Young people are taking it to the adults and that has been your most effective tool. The fact that no adults will speak on the stage in DC is a powerful message to the world that if we can’t do something about gun violence then you will. The issue is going to be this, anyone you ask would feel proud to be interviewed by you but it’s so much more effective if it’s young people.
You could talk to a dozen kids like the young kids from Chicago and LA that Emma met with. You could take over the Guardian and make it tell the stories of children by children. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to point to this moment and say it belongs to you. You certainly should do what you want but that would be my hope for you.
Amal and I stand behind you, in support of you, in gratitude to you.
You make me proud of my country again.
All the best,
This article originally appeared on THR.com.