Obama to address teen’s shooting during visit to Tenn. high school

President Obama is expected to address the fatal shooting earlier this week of a Tennessee teenager, when he visits his Nashville-area high school, 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.

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The network 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."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told the network, "the thoughts and prayers of the president and first lady are with the family of this young man who was killed."

"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.

“We’re working to redesign high schools and partner them with colleges and employers that offer the real-world education and hands-on training that can lead directly to a job and career,” Obama said in his speech Tuesday night.

While gun control was a major part of his 2013 State of the Union address, the president only briefly mentioned the issue on Tuesday night.

"Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day," Obama said. "I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors and police officers all over this country who say 'we are not afraid,' and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.”