Photo: AP

As the confirmation hearing for Secretary of Education plods along, Betsy DeVos calmly told Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy (D) that guns might have a place in schools because the children of America need protection from grizzly bears.

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According to ThinkProgress, when asked outright if guns have a place in or around schools by Senator Murphy, who represented a district that included Newtown, Connecticut, DeVos demurred from taking a hard stance either way, saying “I think that’s best left for locales and states to decide.” The response was met with a rather pregnant pause, but Murphy pressed DeVos further, asking, “You can’t say definitively, today, that guns shouldn’t be in schools?”

Instead of thinking about the words that had just come out of her mouth and considering her audience — a man who represented the district that is home to the deadliest school shooting in America — DeVos circled back to a question asked by Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, who mentioned Wapiti Elementary School in Wyoming. “I will refer back to Senator Enzi and the school he was talking about in Wyoming,” she said. “I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies.”

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Murphy’s final question pressed DeVos further. When asked if she would support Donald Trump’s plan to ban gun-free school zones, DeVos simply said “I will support what the president-elect does,” before acknowledging that her “heart bleeds” for families affected by gun violence in schools in America.

This is not good, people. This is alarming. Watch the exchange below.

This post has been updated to correct the three instances in which Senator Murphy was mistakenly referred to as Senator Murray. Jezebel regrets the error.