Betsy DeVos Knows Who Needs More Education Moneys, And It Is The NRA!
As if we needed more proof that Betsy DeVos doesn't understand the value of a dollar or a good education, the New York Times reports that the Education department is thinkering up a very fine plan to use federal grant money to buy guns for teachers. Leave it to Betsy DeVos to watch "The Magic School Bus" and think, "Ms. Frizzle REALLY needs to teach those brats a lesson..."
Using money from the $1 billon Every Student Succeeds Act, DeVos's scheme would upend longstanding policies about guns in schools and give her the ability to pick and choose school districts eligible for firearms or firearms training. Since it's not her kids or her money, DeVos clearly doesn't care if that $1 billion -- money set aside for educational access, improving school conditions, and digital literacy -- is used to help poor kids and at-risk schools. Kids can't read if they're dead, right? Checkmate, libs!
DeVos might be able to pass out Saturday Night School Specials thanks to loose language in the ESSA. Back in 2015, Congress rolled a number of school spending measures into one big grant so that it was easier for schools to get assistance for mental health, violence prevention, and bullying. Citing a couple of dubious field trips to rural red states and gun-free discussions about school violence, the Education department says its research found schools don't have immediate access to law enforcement officials, so teachers need hand cannons whenever some booger eater wants the class to say "Hello" to their daddy's little friend.
After the massacre at Parkland, Congress raced to pass the STOP School Violence Act, which provided $50 million to help schools beef up security, but specifically prohibited spending federal grant money to arm or train teachers. Though the bill remains stalled in the Senate, Sen. Chris Murphy just introduced an amendment that could put a safety lock on DeVos's itchy trigger finger.
Since we actually survived statistics class, we can say with absolute certainty that NRA-sponsored arguments like "good guys with guns" are garbage. While Trump and his conspirators like to say that arming teachers would be a great idea, there's even more data that shows teachers make terrible security guards. That's why they're teachers!
DeVo's plan is being panned by teachers unions and gun safety groups. This morning, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said that DeVos's plan is "beyond the recklessness we believed she was willing to pursue," adding...
Instead of after-school programs or counselors, programs that are critical for creating safe and welcoming schools and addressing the mental health needs of kids, DeVos wants to turn schools into armed fortresses and make kids and educators less safe," she said. “She wants to turn the U.S. government into an arms dealer for schools. That's insane.
At a time when teachers are taking to the streets to call out historically low wages and bare bones budget cuts, and students are rallying in the hundreds of thousands to protest gun violence, Betsy DeVos says "lock and load." My friends and I grew up cowering in fear during school lockdowns. After Columbine I wore an ID badge and a lanyard, as if nylon and plastic would suddenly stop the bullies and bullets. After 9/11 we learned to duck and cover. When Sandy Hook happened we got cameras, electronic locks, and shatter-proof glass. Before everyone forgot Umpqua, the schools hired security guards to look busy and collect paychecks. Now my friends are teachers living through their own school shootings, yet they still refuse to carry guns in their classrooms.
Maybe Trump was right to call her "Ditzy" DeVos.