They were gathered for what the White House billed as a "listening session", and listen Trump did, sometimes stoically in the face of emotional pleas for action.
"It's just common sense", said student Samuel Zeif, who survived last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a 19-year-old former student has been charged in the killing of 17 people.
"One school shooting and we all should've fixed it".
"I don't understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war", he said sobbing.
The items on the agenda are numbered, with the first item reminding the president to ask: "What would you most want me to know about your experience?" "You can't even think about it".
There's nothing wrong with the statements but people are all pointing out that the president of the United States shouldn't need notes for basic human empathy. "King David Cemetery, that is where I go to see my kid now".
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This could have been used as a valuable teaching moment, but instead resulted in the company being pressured to let them go. Harris tagged all of the Deans in her post, which alerted NYU's Black Student Union.
The over hour long session was respectful on all sides, as parents and students pleaded with the President to do something to end school shootings. Pollack invoked the security changes implemented after the September 11 attacks, asking why the country acted so quickly following that tragedy but has done little to address school shootings in the almost two decades since Columbine.
The listening session was made up of Stoneman Douglas students and parents, as well as the parents of victims from the Sandy Hook Elementary School and Columbine High School shootings.
"I'm very angry that this happened", said Pollack. And that is protecting our children in the schools. Amid ongoing protests, walkouts and calls-to-action across the country, Andrew Pollack - father of Meadow Pollack, one of those killed in the events that unfolded on February 14 - pointedly said to Trump, "How many schools, how many children have to get shot?"
"We are going to do something about this awful situation that's going on", Trump said. On Wednesday, students gathered in Washington D.C., held signs and spoke about the need for more gun safety laws as they marched down the National Mall toward the White House. That's what I keep saying because I want to sink in. "We need more security", Hunter Pollack said. "It's not about gun laws right now". If I knew that, I would have been at the school every day if I knew it was that unsafe.
"I don't know if Donald Trump has ever been to a public high school, but as far as I'm aware, teachers are meant to be educators", Calderon told CNN's Don Lemon on "CNN Tonight". "We need to arm our teachers with more money in their pocket".