US President Donald Trump needed a cue card in his hands to remind himself to offer sympathy as he met victims and families of the Florida high school massacre on Wednesday, February 21. A photo from the event shows him holding a piece of paper with the White House letterhead. Amidst other notes is point number five – “I hear you.” Naturally, it seems that the US president had to remind himself what he needs to tell the dozens of individuals directly impacted by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week, which left 17 dead, including 14 children.
Other questions on that card included: “What would you most want me to know about your experience?” and “What can we do to help you feel safe?” However, Trump didn't actually use these prompts at any point of the meeting, but maintained a tender tone. “To me there can be nothing worse than what you've gone through,” he told the victims.
This meeting came after thousands of high schoolers organised walkouts and protests around the country against the massacre.
During the discussion, Trump also said that he would consider allowing teachers to be armed and carry guns in class to prevent such incidents. “This would only be obviously for people who are very adept at handling a gun. It's called concealed carry. Where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them, they would go for special training and they would be there, and you would no longer have a gun-free zone. A gun-free zone, to a maniac, because they are all cowards, a gun-free zone is let's go in and let's attack,” he was quoted in media reports.
Following the cue-card newsbreak, Trump had to face social media backlash and was criticised for suggesting teachers to carry arms as a way of protecting students.
Breaking: it's not that tRump had a cue card.— BulletProofHeart 🖤 (@UptownGrl78) February 22, 2018
It's what had to be written down for him, so that he wouldn't forget why he was there & start talking about how great he's doing, instead of listening to kids who went through something traumatic.
#5 I hear you.
Priceless & sad.
I'm fine if Trump wants to have notes on hand when he goes to talk to victims of mass shootings. If that's how you do, go for it.— Tristan Hulse (@THulse1706) February 22, 2018
But I'll get mildly concerned when the fifth note says "I hear you". It's not that he shouldn't say it. It's just that it should be implied...
Trump:— Libertarian_Brad (@BradleyPittma12) February 22, 2018
“Ohh...Your friends died in a school shooting?”
“5) I hear you”
A complete stranger to naturally triggered empathy, Trump's notes to help speak with students & parents contains the coached phrase "I hear you." https://t.co/tjzmHIyMa6— Ryan H. Walsh (@JahHills) February 22, 2018