Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) stopped by the Woodward-Granger High School on April 4 as part of his 99-county tour.
Grassley spoke to a group of seniors and government students about his time in Washington and his 99-county tour before turning over the microphone to them for questions.
One student asked about Grassley’s opinion about gun rights.
“If you want to go by indexes of various organizations that rate you based upon gun rights, then I would be very much in support of the second amendment,” Grassley said.
Another student followed that question up by asking Grassley what his thoughts were on teachers carrying guns in schools for protection.
“I think that most educational issues ought to be made by the 50 states and by the school districts,” Grassley said. “I don’t want Congress to say teachers should have guns or not have guns. I want the Woodward-Granger school district to make that decision.”
He said that Congress should make some decisions related to preventing school violence, like the recently passed STOP Violence in School Act. But other decisions, Grassley said, should be made at the local level.
Another Woodward-Granger student asked him about the rising cost of college tuition.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that as important as Pell grants are, as important as guaranteed student loans are, the federal government is part of the problem,” Grassley said. “We’ve left the impression that it doesn’t matter how high inflation is going to go, Congress is going to fill in the gaps. But they never fill in the gap.”
A student then asked Grassley about his opinion of President Donald Trump.
“I don’t look at him as a person. I look at the office of the presidency and I look at the policies that come out of the executive branch. Do I agree with them or don’t I agree with them,” Grassley said.
He doesn’t agree with Trump on his trade policies. Grassley felt Trump shouldn’t have put tariffs on steel and aluminum because of a potential reaction from countries like China on exports from Iowa farmers.
The tariffs were brought up by another student during the question and answer session. She wanted to know what help there would be for Iowa farmers if there was a retaliation on exports.
Grassley said there are programs in place that help guarantee farmers some protection against catastrophic drops in prices. Those drops could come from overproduction, or from retaliation from tariffs.
Government teacher Andrew Hopper said the question and answer session with Grassley was a good experience for the students.
“I always try to bring relevance to the classroom,” he said.
Bringing in a guest speaker like Grassley, Hopper said, who lives and breathes politics on a daily basis helps the students realize how important the subject really is.
The students enjoyed the chance to talk to Grassley during the April 4 visit.
“I think with teenagers, we feel our voices are not always heard. To get to speak to someone in the Senate, it’s extremely important to get to voice our concerns,” junior Josie Noland said.
“It prepares you to ask the important questions we’re going to have to ask when we can go vote,” senior Nickolas Moser said.