White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA

Sarah Sanders Gets Choked Up When Child Reporter Asks Question About Preventing School Shootings

May 31, 2018 - 12:17 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/CBS News) -- There was an emotional moment during Wednesday's White House press briefing when a student reporter for "Time for Kids" asked press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders what can be done to prevent another school shooting.

The boy, Benje Choucroun, also talked about the fears that his fellow students feel that one of them could be the next victim.

"At my school we recently had a lockdown drill. 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 said. "Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done, and will do, to prevent these senseless tragedies?"

Sanders appeared to hold back tears as she responded 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," she said. "So I'm sorry that you feel that way."

"This administration takes it seriously," Sanders said, getting more choked up. "And the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting 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 them feel safe and to make parents feel good about dropping them off."

CBS News correspondent Steven Portnoy was in the room when the exchange happened.

"It kind of took everybody's breath away," Portnoy said. "You can hear in Sarah Sander's voice as the mother of three young kids how deeply she feels about the reality."

The emotional moment came a day before President Donald Trump heads to Texas to meet with some of the loved ones of those killed in the most recent school shooting.

A 17-year-old suspect is accused of killing 10 people and wounded an additional 10 on May 18 at Santa Fe High School in Texas. That followed the even deadlier Parkland, Florida school shooting in February, which killed 17 people and spurred a student-led movement calling on Congress and the Trump administration to implement new gun control measures.