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DARE: ‘I’m About to Die’: Students Take to Social Media During Florida School Shooting

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High school freshmen tweet out Florida school shooting in real time, being the first to inform the world. Feverish debates erupt over gun control, amid widespread recognition that repeated killings, debates, and public mobilization have failed to yield tighter controls. Congress debates restoring access to Pell grants for prisoner education. PEN America announces 2018 PEN World Voices Festival, with theme of “Resist and Reimagine.” -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


‘I’m About to Die’: Students Take to Social Media During Florida School Shooting
Students in Broward County, Florida, locked inside their high school during an active shooting situation took to social media Wednesday to document the frightening situation.

Florida Shooting Puts Schools On High Alert, Ignites Gun Control Debate
This past Wednesday marked the deadliest school shooting since 2012 and has sparked intense debate over gun control, the failure of adequate safety measures, and their emotional impact.

Senate Leaders Reconsider Ban on Pell Grants for Prisoners
The Senate’s top education leaders will consider reinstating Pell grants for incarcerated students. 
The move would signal a shift toward recognizing education as a centerpiece in efforts to overhaul criminal justice law.

PEN World Voices Festival 2018, with Theme “Resist and Reimagine,” Will Convene, Writers, Artists, and Thinkers from the U.S. and Abroad to Plot Paths Ahead for Societies in Turmoil, April 16-22
With 60+ events across New York City, the U.S.’s leading international literary festival brings together the world’s foremost authors and other luminaries at a time when many are turning to literature and the arts as a guide to navigate crises.


Gay Uzbek Journalist Ali Feruz Flees Russia *PEN Case List
Gay Uzbek journalist Ali Feruz, working for one of Russia’s last independent newspapers, has left for Germany after a Moscow court allowed him to travel to any country outside his native Uzbekistan.

Choked to Death: Free Speech in Grip of Thailand’s Strongmen
Seven Nobel Laureates signed a petition criticizing a male lecturer at Chulalongkorn University for putting one student in a chokehold and dragging him away during protest of an initiation ceremony.

German Law Under Fire for Turning Social Media Companies into ‘Overzealous Censors’
The Network Enforcement Act, cited as a positive example of censorship legislation by Russia, Singapore, and the Philippines, requires large social media platforms to quickly remove “illegal content” or face big fines.

YouTube and Instagram Face Russian Bans
YouTube and Instagram face being blocked by Russian internet service providers as a result of a standoff between one of the country’s richest businessmen and an opposition leader.

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to DARE@pen.org

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