U.S. Representatives Answer Student Questions During Town Hall at Arlington High School

On October 30, approximately 200 AHS students had the opportunity to hear from United States Representatives Katherine Clark and Maxwell Alejandro Frost at a town hall held in the school auditorium. Ten days prior, Congresswoman Clark’s office had reached out to Principal Dr. Matthew Janger, and explained that the Democratic Whip had an interest in holding a student town hall as she hosted her colleague at local events. The email stated the following:  “Given how civically engaged the Arlington High School population tends to be, …it might be a great opportunity for students to interact with both their Representative in Congress as well as a representative from their own generation.” Dr. Janger and K-12 History Director Kaitlin Moran agreed and they set to work on the event..

After an introduction by Dr. Janger, Representative Clark introduced Representative Frost, the first and only Generation Z member of the U.S. House. He spoke a little about his background  work prior to coming to Congress. The topic for the Town Hall was gun violence and prevention. Ms. Moran had worked with students and History teachers to develop 14 questions that were asked by seven volunteers. The following are some of the questions which the two visitors answered.

  • What are some of the most effective strategies for preventing gun violence in the modern day?
  • Switzerland has a similarly high number of guns to the US but since ammunition is strictly controlled so they have very few gun problems. Would a solution like this work in the US?
  • Are red flag laws a good idea for preventing people with mental health issues from having a gun? Is it possible the red flag laws could be used in the wrong way?
  • During the Clinton administration there was an assault weapon ban in place. What would it take to pass another assault weapon ban?
  • How can we prevent school shootings from happening in our country? Can schools have better surveillance systems to prevent school shootings?
  • How do you plan to get anything done on gun reform in this political climate, with this new speaker? Do you think you can work with him on this?
  • If we decided that the right to bear arms protects guns, couldn't one argue it protects the right to own a bomb or other weapon for the same reason?

Ms. Moran indicates that since the questions came from the students themselves, the young audience was very engaged. They were very excited to hear from Representative Frost. As a member of their generation, his approach and tone resonated with a lot of students.They were especially interested in hearing how he helped advocate for the federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention, and this representation was noteworthy. Following the question and answer session, Congressman Frost made time to meet and talk with the students in the audience and pose for pictures with them.

After he left AHS, Representative Frost shared the following on X, formerly Twitter: “It was great to join @WhipKClark for a student-led town hall yesterday in Massachusetts to discuss gun violence prevention in schools and how we can empower young people to take a stand against gun violence. We’ll never stop fighting for the violence-free schools and future we deserve.”.