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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Phony Yearbook Photo

Q: Is David Hogg pictured in a California school yearbook?

A: No. That’s a yearbook photo from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where Hogg is a student.

David Hogg, 17, is an active member of his high school community in Parkland, Florida.

He is in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s astronomy club, he is on its television news show, and he is president of the drone club.

That means that he did not graduate from a high school for at-risk teens in California in 2015, regardless of what rumors on the internet say.

In fact, in 2015, Hogg was on the Stoneman Douglas cross-country team. South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel published a picture of him finishing the Spanish River Cross Country Invitational in Boca Raton, Florida.

The claim that he went to high school in California is just another rumor about Hogg, who has been the target of numerous falsehoods since he started speaking out for stricter gun laws following a shooting spree that left 17 dead at his high school in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14.

It also feeds into a popular conspiracy theory about him, which claims that he is not actually a student at the school, but, rather, a paid “crisis actor.” We debunked that and other claims related to that conspiracy theory in a Feb. 22 story, “No ‘Crisis Actors’ in Parkland, Florida.”

This particular rumor — claiming that Hogg is a 2015 graduate of Redondo Shores Continuation High School, which is for at-risk students, in California — appears to have originated on a hoax Twitter account.

An account, which has since been suspended, named “Laguna Beach Antifa” on Feb. 20 tweeted: “David Hogg didn’t attend #Parkland high school. I went to school with him at Redondo Shores High School in California and he graduated in 2015. Here he is in our yearbook from 2015. He always wanted to work for CNN and be an actor. #GunReformNow #NeverAgain.”

You can see a cached version here.

That tweet, which also circulated on Facebook, weaves together threads of a larger conspiracy theory about Hogg being a “crisis actor.” The tweet references Redondo Beach, where Hogg had been in a newscast over the summer (a clip that conspiracy theorists seized on to claim that he couldn’t be a student in Florida). It also references the baseless claim that he was part of a scheme involving CNN.

The account also had elected to show its location as “Krasnoyarsk, Russia” and it joined Twitter in February of 2018 — both are red flags that it’s not a legitimate account.

Also, the picture attached to the tweet actually shows the 2017 edition of the Stoneman Douglas yearbook.

A recent Stoneman Douglas graduate took to Twitter to show his own yearbook, flipping to the page that has Hogg’s photo.

In addition, another student who is pictured on the same yearbook page is wearing an “Eagles” T-shirt. The Stoneman Douglas logo is an eagle.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label false stories flagged by readers on the social media network.


Deitsch, Ryan. “Project Aquila launch delayed.” The Eagle Eye. 11 Dec 2017.

Ma, Christy. “MSD wins third place in drone racing competition.” The Eagle Eye. 9 Jan 2018.

Ambellas, Shepard. “David Hogg graduated high school in 2015, never attended school in Parkland, says fellow classmate.” USSA News. 21 Feb 2018.

Copeland, Hal. “David Hogg, of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, finishes in 21:56.84.” Sun Sentinel. 19 Sep 2015.

Spencer Hale, Saranac. “No ‘Crisis Actors’ in Parkland, Florida.” FactCheck.org. 22 Feb 2018.

CBS Los Angeles. “Confrontation Between Lifeguard, Bodysurfer Caught On Camera In Redondo Beach Goes Viral.” YouTube. 7 Aug 2017.

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David Hogg didn’t attend high school in Parkland, Florida; he graduated from Redondo Shores Continuation High School in California.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018