White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is used to tough questions from the media, but she nearly broke down on Wednesday when a middle school reporter apparently surprised her with a question about the trauma of enduring lockdown drills to prepare for the next mass shooting.
California student Benje Choucroun had come to the White House to cover the administration’s sports and fitness event, but was allowed into the briefing room to ask Sanders a question, according to CNN producer Nora Neus.
“At my school, we recently had a lockdown drill, one thing that affects my and other students’ mental health is to worry about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school,” Choucroun, 13, said when he was called on by Sanders. “Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?”
“I think that as a kid and certainly as a parent, there is certainly nothing that could be more terrifying than for a kid to go to school and not feel safe,” Sanders responded, her voice cracking. “So I’m sorry that you feel that way. This administration takes it seriously, and the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting again this week, again, an official meeting, to discuss the best ways forward, and how we can do every single thing within our power to protect kids in our schools and to make their parents feel good about dropping them off.”
On Thursday, Trump plans to travel to Texas meet with the families of those affected by the Santa Fe High School shooting that left 10 dead earlier this month.
In early May, the president spoke in Dallas at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, and he reiterated his belief that arming teachers was his favored approach to try and cut down on the number of people killed in school shootings. Those remarks came just months after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 students. In the wake of that tragedy, Trump chided some lawmakers for being afraid of the NRA.
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