Tags: betsy devos | school | safety

DeVos: Schools Must Be Kept as Safe as Other Public Venues

(Fox News/"Fox & Friends")

By    |   Monday, 12 March 2018 09:12 AM

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who is heading a newly formed commission exploring steps to prevent violence at schools, said Monday that there are many venues in the United States that are kept safe, and schools must be part of that equation.

"There are pieces of legislation before Congress today that can take significant steps in the right direction, [including] background checks, the Stop Violence Act," DeVos told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "They have broad bipartisan support."

President Donald Trump wants to see Congress act quickly, said DeVos, and then look to see what can be done as the next step toward keeping the nation's schools safe.

"Every time we have had a situation like this, we have had a lot of discussion and camps go into their various corners," she added. "Then we sit and don't get anything done. The president is committed to taking action and to ensuring that we do what we can at the federal level to protect kids."

On Sunday, the White House outlined a plan for improving school safety, including improved background checks. The plan, however, does not include a push to raise the minimum age for purchasing assault-style weapons to 21, even though Trump had championed that move.

Instead, the new federal committee that DeVos heads will examine the age issue, along with other topics involving school safety.

DeVos said she does believe Florida did a "great job" in a short period of time after the deadly school shootings on Feb. 14 to tackle "very difficult issues," including raising the age of buying a long gun.

"I think every state is looking in that same direction, although Florida had obviously immediate motivation," said DeVos.

When asked why Trump did not order the minimum age to be raised in his plan, DeVos said that "everything is on the table," but it's part of the job of her commission to study the issue and determine if that will be included.

Meanwhile, DeVos, on NBC's "Today" show, said that when it comes to arming teachers, one of the central aspects of Trump's plan, DeVos said she does not think it would be appropriate to have an armed teacher in every classroom or even in each grade, and she doesn't "think anyone would agree that would be."

"The point is, that schools should have this tool if they choose to use the tool," said DeVos. "Communities should have the tool. States should have the tool. But nobody should be mandated to do it."

She also said that the matter of whether teachers should wear their weapons should be determined by states and communities, but she does not believe assault-style weapons would be appropriate for teachers to have.

But when it comes to schools being designated as gun-free zones, except for teachers, DeVos told "Today's" Savannah Guthrie that schools must be protected like any other large gathering place.

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Monday that there are many venues in the United States that are kept safe, and schools must be part of that equation.
betsy devos, school, safety
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2018-12-12
Monday, 12 March 2018 09:12 AM
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