Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is contemplating using federal funds to purchase guns for teachers and faculty in schools.
The New York Times broke the story Wednesday, saying that the plan would allocate funds from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants to pay for the weapons and to provide training to staff and faculty.
However, White House officials are pushing back on the claims, saying that the idea did not “originate” within the Department of Education or from DeVos herself, but rather from the Texas Education Agency, which sent a letter inquiring if it were possible to use the grant money for such a purpose.
According to White House officials, ultimately the department did not respond to the request.
The Texas Education Agency has also said that the inquiry was not a formal request, but that they submitted it after several school districts had asked about the possibility.
Former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords (AZ), herself a victim of gun violence, issued a statement Wednesday in response to the inquiry.
“[Arming teachers] recklessly puts American children in even more danger. It’s time for Americans to find the courage to take on the powerful and fight for our own safety.” — Giffords
According to The Sun, as of March 2018 there have been eight school shootings in which victims were either injured or killed, and at least 20 incidents in which a gun was discharged somewhere on a school campus.
Survivors of one of the most infamous school shooting to date in Parkland, Florida, have repeatedly condemned the idea of arming teachers.
“I don’t know if Donald Trump has ever been to a public high school but, as far as I’m aware, teachers are meant to be educators. They are meant to teach young minds how to work in the world. They are not meant to know how to carry AR-15s, they are not meant to know how to put on Kevlar vests for the other students or for themselves.” — Alfonso Calderon, Parkland student and survivor
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