A Lincoln high school senior landed a special date for prom.
Fidan Ibrahimova attended prom in Lincoln on Saturday with Kyle Kashuv, a student from Parkland, Florida, who has met the president and drawn national attention for his views on curbing school violence.
Kashuv, a junior at the Parkland school that was attacked by a gunman in February, has said he doesn’t believe gun control is the answer.
Fidan said she invited Kyle because she admired him for his character and backbone in voicing a position contrary to other Parkland students in the gun debate. She said she followed the aftermath of the Parkland shooting closely, and it seemed that students who favored gun control were getting more attention than Kyle.
“I liked that he was trying to get his voice out,” said Fidan, who attends Lincoln Southeast. “I found that really special about him.”
She and Kyle also met Gov. Pete Ricketts during the Florida teen’s visit to Nebraska over the weekend. Kyle could not be reached for comment.
Fidan was out for coffee with friends earlier this month when she got the idea to invite him. She sent him a private message through Twitter: “Sorry to bother you but prom is next Saturday, so I’m wondering if I have a chance or nah?”
Then she messaged him to ask how many retweets of her invite she’d need for him to say yes. Retweets are a way people on Twitter show support for something.
His reply: 5,000.
In less than a day she had the 5,000, she said, thanks to a conservative political commentator who retweeted her.
She said people on Twitter suggested she set up a Go Fund Me page to cover prom expenses. She said she raised $1,700 to pay for his flight, meals, hotel and limo.
She said Kyle flew into Omaha on Saturday afternoon.
Before the prom, the pair met for about 30 minutes with Ricketts at his Omaha office.
Taylor Gage, a spokesman for Ricketts, said a recent Southeast High graduate reached out to the governor’s office to request the meeting on behalf of the two teens.
Gage said the governor called Kyle an impressive young man.
Kyle attended prom with a group of Fidan’s friends in Lincoln’s Haymarket. She said she talked with Kyle about his experiences following the shooting, including meeting President Donald Trump, but not about school violence or gun control.
In previous interviews, Kyle has suggested achievable goals, such as increasing security at school and deepening background checks, particularly for mental health.
Students at the prom wanted to meet Kyle and shake his hand, she said. She hopes the two of them will become lifelong friends.
“The night went really smoothly,” she said.
This report includes material from The Washington Post.