Emma Gonzalez Did Not Tear up a Copy of the Constitution

An image of student activist Emma Gonzalez tearing up the U.S. Constitution has been circulating online, and journalists from Teen Vogue are rushing to clarify that it is a doctored photo from their shoot.

Gonzalez is one of the outspoken survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting on Feb. 14. Videos of her speech in Fort Lauterdale went viral just four days after the tragedy, and on Saturday, she delivered another powerful message at the March For Our Lives Event.

Her impassioned delivery and distinctive look have made her one of the most vital voices of the growing movement, and she and her classmates recently agreed to a photoshoot with Teen Vogue.

Among the many pictures taken, there was one animated image of Gonzalez, with three other girls standing behind her, tearing a shooting range target in half. The symbolic image was photoshopped by anonymous trolls online, who changed the target into a copy of the United States Constitution. In the process, they also lightened Gonzalez's skin and added dark circles under her eyes in an attempt to make her look more sinister.

The false image was taken seriously by some users on social media, prompting Phillip Picardi, a journalist from Teen Vogue, to get on Twitter and clarify.

"At left is @tyler_mitchell's photo of @Emma4Change for the cover of @TeenVogue," he wrote. "At right is what so-called 'Gun Rights Activists' have photoshopped it into." Picardi added the March For Our Lives hashtag to the tweet.

The official Teen Vogue account retweeted the post, adding, "What he said."

"The fact that we even have to clarify this is proof of how democracy continues to be fractured by people who manipulate and fabricate the truth," Picardi wrote. "It's also among the most unfortunate parts of our work at Teen Vogue: when we give young people a platform, we want to elevate their voices. Sometimes, that means subjecting them to hatred and vitriol."

"The attacks being lobbied against Emma follow the all-too-familiar patterns: she's an opinionated woman, she's Latinx, she is queer," Picardi went on. "Some say those are strikes already against her when confronting the establishment."

"From where we stand, these are even more reasons we have to listen to what she's saying and continue our unwavering support. These things don't make her less American — they're exactly what America does mean, especially to young people," Picardi wrote.


Gonzalez stunned the crowd on Saturday with a six minute and 20 second speech comprised mostly of an uncomfortable silence. At the end, she explained that in about six minutes and 20 seconds, a gunman was able to take 17 lives and injure 15 others in her school.