By Justin Sink - 01/30/14 04:05 PM EST
President Obama is expected to address the fatal shooting of a Tennessee teenager when he visits a Nashville-area high school on Thursday, according to a White House official.
Earlier this week, 17-year-old high school student Kaemon Robinson was charged with criminal homicide after the fatal shooting of his friend, 15-year-old Kevin Barbee, according to WSMV-TV. According to the police, witnesses said Robinson was playing with a gun at an apartment off campus when it accidentally discharged, killing Barbee.
The station reported that the White House contacted the school's principal about canceling the visit out of respect to the slain teen, but school officials ultimately opted to go ahead with the event.
"Knowing Kevin and the personality that he has, I don't think he would want things just to stop," McGavock High School Principal Robbin Wall said. "We'll treat it with respect and the dignity like it should be, but in the same breath, want to follow through with the commitments we have as well."
"This really is a tragedy that is all too common. Regardless of what the circumstances turn out to be, the end of a young life is tragic," Earnest said.
Although Obama will acknowledge the shooting, his remarks are largely expected to focus on proposals he outlined in his State of the Union address. The president is likely to tout the school system's recently reformed curriculum, designed in partnership with 250 companies across fields including health science, design, aviation and hospitality.
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