Donald Trump to hold 'listening session' with students after Florida school shooting

Donald Trump to hold 'listening session' with students after Florida school shooting

Donald Trump to hold 'listening session' with students after Florida school shooting

Updated 20 February 2018, 2:20 AEDT

After fielding criticism from survivors of the deadly Florida school shooting, US President Donald Trump will hold a "listening session" with unspecified high school students and teachers on Wednesday, the White House says.

The White House did not say which school would be involved.

The "listening session" is scheduled to take place before a previously-announced CNN live townhall with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were fatally shot last week.

A 19-year-old former student, Nikolas Cruz, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

CNN said Mr Trump had declined an invitation to speak at its event.

Several students from the school have criticised Mr Trump, whose election was strongly supported by the National Rifle Association and who ran on a platform opposing gun control.

"You're the president. You're supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us," 17-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg said on NBC's Meet the Press.

"How dare you?"

Emma Gonzalez, another student who survived the attack, cited Mr Trump, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Republican Governor Rick Scott by name in a warning to politicians who are supported by the National Rifle Association.

"Now is the time to get on the right side of this, because this is not something that we are going to let sweep under the carpet," she said on Meet the Press.

Students to demand gun control action

Seeking to increase pressure for gun control, the students plan to visit the state capitol in Tallahassee this week to demand immediate action.

They have also called for anti-gun violence demonstrations in Washington and other cities on March 24.

Meanwhile, organisers behind anti-Trump and female empowerment protest the Women's March called for a 17-minute, nationwide walkout by teachers and students on March 14.

Florida politicians have been scrambling to produce legislation in response to the attack.

In a TV interview, Mr Rubio embraced a Democratic bill in the Florida legislature to allow courts to temporarily prevent people from having guns if they are determined to be a threat to themselves or others.

Mr Scott attended a prayer vigil near the school and is expected to announce a legislative package with GOP leaders of the legislature this week.

Mr Trump and his wife Melania visited the community on Friday, going to a hospital where victims were treated.

He spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where he posted tweets contending the FBI was too focused on the Russia investigation to respond to warnings about the alleged shooter and criticising Democrats for failing to pass gun control.