The atmosphere at the White House press briefing palpably changed when a young reporter’s question caused Sarah Sanders to get choked up.
The White House press secretary brusquely doled out responses to questions from the press pool on Wednesday as she normally does. But when 13-year-old Benje Choucroun asked Sanders about school shootings, she visibly shifted gears.
“At my school, we recently had a lockdown drill. One thing that affects my and other students’ mental health is the worry about we or our friends could get shot at school. Specifically, could you tell me what the administration has done or will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?” the Time for Kids reporter asked.
“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,” was the response from Sanders, a mother of three whose voice seemed to crack a bit as she replied.
“This administration takes it seriously and the school safety commission that the President convened is meeting again this week,” Sanders continued, “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.”
Choucroun, who attends Marin Country School in Corte Madera, California, was representing Time for Kids at the White House Sports and Fitness Day, according to NBC’s KNTV.
President Trump is set to travel to Texas on Thursday to meet with the families of the victims of the shooting at Santa Fe High School earlier this month where 10 people were killed.
Choucroun, who joined the March For Our Lives rally in San Francisco in March, advocates for stricter gun laws and has his own YouTube channel.
— Riya (@loislane28) March 24, 2018
Benje Choucroun for President. #Benje2040
— Dave (@davely) May 30, 2018
— Vicki Larson (@OMGchronicles) May 30, 2018
What a brave student journalist – asking a very serious question that no child should have to ask. Great job Benje Choucroun. https://t.co/baAab7RlQM
— Anne Marie Petersen (@ampetersen) May 30, 2018