The mother of a Texas school shooting victim said that in a recent meeting with families, President Trump repeatedly suggested arming teachers as a way to combat school shootings.
Trump met Thursday with more than two dozen people affected by the shooting, which left 10 people dead and more than a dozen injured last month.
The meeting was not open to reporters, but Rhonda Hart, whose 14-year-old daughter was killed in the shooting, told the Associated Press about the content of the meeting.
Hart told the AP that the president “kept mentioning” the idea of arming teachers, and that he repeatedly referred to the suspected shooter and the trench coat he wore as “wacky.”
“Maybe if everyone had access to mental health care, we wouldn’t be in the situation,” she said she told the president.
Hart, who is an Army veteran, told the AP that she suggested employing veterans in schools to serve as guards, and that he responded, “and arm them?”
“It was like talking to a toddler,” she said.
In the wake of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting in February, Trump suggested arming classroom teachers and other school officials. The suggestion, while welcomed by some, was faced with opposition from many lawmakers and education professionals.
Pamela Stanich, another parent whose son was killed, praised Trump’s actions and behavior at the meeting in a Facebook post.
“[He] showed sincerity, compassion, and concern on making our schools safer across the nation,” she wrote, according to the AP. “He spent time talking to the survivors and asking on what happened and what would have made a difference. Changes are coming for the good. Thank you Mr. Trump.”
Gun violence activists criticized Trump ahead of Thursday’s meeting, after he told reporters that he and his team would be “going to have a little fun”on the trip to Texas. He also met with supporters at fundraising events during the trip.
In the aftermath of the Santa Fe shooting, Trump vowed that his administration would be with the school “forever.”
“We grieve for the terrible loss of life, and send our support and love to everyone affected by this horrible attack in Texas,” he said after the Texas shooting while speaking at the White House. “To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High School: we are with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever.”
BY AVERY ANAPOL – 06/01/18