March 11, 2018
Education Secretary says states, communities should make decision
Betsy DeVos says teachers carrying guns in classroom an option for states
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says that states and localities seeking to protect schools against shooters should consider allowing teachers to carry firearms in the classroom.
Arming teachers “should be an option for states and communities to consider,” Ms. DeVos told CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” in an interview airing Sunday night.
She acknowledged that some educators have neither the interest nor the training to carry firearms, “but for those who are capable, this is one solution that can and should be considered … every state and every community is going to address this issue in a different way,” she said.
Her comments came after President Trump suggested states consider allowing highly trained school personnel to carry guns in the classroom in response to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House would release a plan Sunday recommending states allow concealed carry for school staffers and raise the gun-buying age for certain firearms.
Nineteen states already allow firearms in K-12 schools as long as the owner has permission from school authorities, while another five states permit any concealed-carry holder to bring weapons to schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“There are a lot of states that are addressing these issues in very cohesive and coherent ways,” said Ms. DeVos.
The education secretary’s stance pits her once again against teachers’ union officials, who have argued that increasing the number of firearms makes schools less safe and advocated for tougher gun laws.
Ms. DeVos also stressed the importance of taking action on school safety. “There is a sense of urgency indeed,” she said.
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