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Trump says "no child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school"

Last Updated Feb 15, 2018 11:37 AM EST

President Trump on Thursday spoke briefly in an address to the nation about the Parkland, Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead a day earlier. The president said that more must be done to "tackle" the issue of mental illness in the U.S., but he made no mention of the prevalence of guns or gun violence.

"Today, I speak to a nation in grief," Mr. Trump said from the White House Diplomatic Room. "Yesterday, a school filled with innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil."

"To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you, whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain," the president said. "We are all joined together as one American family and your suffering is our burden also. No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school."

The president said that he is making plans to visit Parkland, Florida to meet with families and local officials and to continue coordinating the federal response.

"We must work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life," Mr. Trump said.

The nation must work to "tackle" the issue of mental illness, said the president, who added that he'll be meeting with governors and attorneys general to discuss what can be done to keep schools and students safe, which he said will be their "top priority."

Nikolas Jacob Cruz, an orphaned 19-year-old with a troubled past was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning after being questioned for hours by state and federal authorities following the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years. Fifteen wounded survivors were hospitalized as bodies were recovered from inside and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The president had already tweeted about the shooting Thursday morning: "So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!"

CBS News' Rebecca Shabad contributed to this report.