STATEMENT: Secretary DeVos’ Move to Arm Teachers Is Out of Touch With the Needs of Students and Imperils Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence
Washington, D.C. — Today, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) filed an emergency amendment to a government funding bill that would prevent federal education funding from being used to arm teachers. The move comes on the heels of a news report suggesting that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is considering issuing guidance that would allow funding currently used for efforts such as mental health programs for students to be used for arming teachers. Scott Sargrad, managing director of K-12 Education Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response to these developments:
Lawmakers already rejected the president’s budget request to cut this critical funding that supports safe and healthy students, but now Secretary DeVos wants to act unilaterally to militarize America’s teachers. Our schools are already underfunded, and students are not getting the resources they need, which is why it makes no sense to divert federal education funding to buy guns and arm overworked and undercompensated teachers. Introducing guns into the classroom is not going to curb gun violence, which is why roughly two-thirds of teachers oppose this strategy. The administration should listen to them, not gun manufacturers, in order to learn what is needed to keep our nation’s classrooms safe.
For more background on the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine school safety efforts, please read “5 Ways the Trump Budget Undermines Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Efforts” by Chelsea Parsons and Scott Sargrad.
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