Child reporter catches White House press secretary off guard with question about school safety
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders arrives for the White House Sports and Fitness Day event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 30, 2018.
Washington: Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ teared up as she fielded an unexpected question about school shootings from a child reporter at the White House Wednesday.
Sanders’ voice wobbled and she became visibly upset after 13-year-old Benje Choucroun asked a question about kids feeling unsafe at school.
The cub reporter — on assignment for “Time for Kids” — asked what the administration was doing to tackle the scourge of gun violence.
“At my school, we recently had a lockdown drill,” Choucroun began, describing the practice of training to hide if a shooter gets in the building.
The drills are a regular occurrence for US kids as young as three, who are sometimes told they are pretending to hide from “bears” or “bad guys”.
“One thing that affects mine and other students’ mental health is the worry about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school,” Choucroun continued, reading from a written question.
“Can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?”
Sanders, a mother of three, better known in public for her pugilistic approach to briefings, appeared taken aback by the question.
“I think that as a kid, and certainly as a parent, there is nothing that could be more terrifying for a kid to go to school and not feel safe. So I’m sorry that you feel that way,” she said.
“This administration takes it seriously,” Sanders said struggling to continue, before adding that administration was discussing ways to “do every single thing within our power to protect kids in our schools and to make them feel safe and make their parents feel good about dropping them off.”
Early in his administration Trump vowed to tackle gun control, but has since fallen in line with Republican gun lobby groups, backing more security measures in school and even arming teachers.
On Thursday, he is expected to travel to Houston for a campaign event, where he will also meet families involved in the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School.
Earlier this month a 17-year-old student gunned down eight fellow students and two teachers, just one in a litany of US school shootings.