Arming teachers 'an oversimplification,' education secretary says

PHOTO: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks at a news conference following a visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, March 7, 2018, in Coral Springs, Fla.PlayLynne Sladky/AP
WATCH Arming teachers 'an oversimplification,' Education Secretary Devos says

After a private meeting with students from Stoneman Douglas High School, the location of a mass shooting that left 17 people dead and 14 people injured, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the Trump administration is "committed to not only listening, but action" on school safety.

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"It was, as I said, a sobering and inspiring moment," DeVos told reporters after her visit to campus. The students "have a lot of very important and worthwhile things to say."

DeVos — who just weeks ago suggested states have "the option and the opportunity" to arm teachers — on Wednesday said "arming teachers is an oversimplification and a mischaracterization, really."

Any school personnel deputized to carry weapons would have "lots and lots of training," she noted. And while bearing arms could be an "option" for certain highly-trained school personnel, it's "certainly not one that needs to be required or mandated for every community," she added.

PHOTO: A Broward County sheriffs deputy with the K-9 unit patrols outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., as students arrive on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.The New York Times via Redux/FILE
A Broward County sheriff's deputy with the K-9 unit patrols outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., as students arrive on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

Federal lawmakers and state and local authorities should "continue pushing forward" on safety measures that have broad support, DeVos said.

Some students pushed back.

Emma Gonzalez, the Stoneman Douglas senior who made a passionate plea for gun control laws at a Florida rally following the shooting, lashed out upon hearing the news of DeVos' visit:

Other students urged DeVos to act.

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