The following article was published by the Washington Jewish Week following Governor Larry Hogan's visit to the CESJDS Lower School on Friday, December 16.
By Justin Katz
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has some big — albeit young — fans at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville who, thankfully for him, are not as difficult of a press corps as they are great admirers.
Hogan visited the school on Friday to answer questions from fifth graders, who have been studying the history of Maryland's government. The event was organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.
The afternoon began with Hogan addressing the student body in the school's gymnasium where Hogan, after taking his seat, was flocked with students seeking an autograph.
The governor briefly spoke about his recent trip to Israel and provided a few words of wisdom to the potential politicians of tomorrow before being presented with a bag of school paraphernalia.
Following the assembly, he met with 30 fifth grade students for a "press conference."
"As the governor, what is the toughest decision you've had to make?" one student asked.
"Wow. Probably answering this question might be it," Hogan responded, eliciting laughs from the crowd.
He went on to say his toughest decisions came last year when Baltimore City was struck with riots in wake of Freddie Gray's death.
"We had to decide how to handle that situation. The world was watching and the city was burning," Hogan said. "The first couple of hours, 400 businesses had been [destroyed] and 170 firefighters had been injured. I had to decide whether to take action from the state which I did decide to do, and I declared a state of emergency."
After saying his good byes, Hogan was questioned by reporters about recent acts of vandalism and hate crimes in the wake of the presidential election.
"There is a lot of tension and antagonism out there and we have to figure out a way for people to come together, not only in the state of Maryland but across the country," Hogan said. "We think people need to find a way — even when you find strong disagreement — you have to find a way to try and respect each other and treat each other in a decent way."