This 13-year-old challenged Sarah Huckabee Sanders on school shootings, and his question was heartbreaking
Since the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th, students have been leading the charge for common sense gun reform. Teen activists organized not one, but two school walkouts to demand change. Successful boycotts have been led against brands that either support the NRA or sell guns in their stores. And most recently, one student reporter stood up and asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders what, exactly, the current administration is doing to keep kids safe from gun violence.
Benje Choucroun, a 13-year-old reporter with Time for Kids, traveled to Washington, D.C. to cover the White House Sports and Fitness Day. Choucroun, who attends Marin Country Day School in California, attended an official press conference on May 30th and raised his hand to ask a question. Sanders, clearly expecting a light-hearted question from the student, joked that she hoped his question was “not as tough as ‘Bring Your Kid to Work Day‘ questions.”
But Choucroun began by telling Sanders that he had recently experienced a lockdown drill at school.
"One thing that affects mine and others' mental health is the worry that we or our friends could get shot at school," Choucroun continued, reading from his notes. "Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?"
Sanders was noticeably — and perhaps unexpectedly — moved by the question. She answered with this (slightly generic) response:
“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. This administration takes it seriously and the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting again this week [in] 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 them feel safe and their parents feel good about dropping them off.”
Less than two weeks before Choucron’s visit, 10 people were killed in a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Meanwhile, Trump and his administration have continued to oppose gun control measures.
We’re heartened to see teens like Choucroun courageously addressing the issue of gun violence. We only hope that politicians actually start listening to these concerns and work to finally end school shootings once and for all.