On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Betsy DeVos’s Education Department is mulling the possibility of allowing states and districts to use federal funding to arm teachers with guns. This is according to “multiple people with knowledge of the plan.”
The Times reports that that the department is considering using the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program to break with longstanding precedent and get around laws that prohibit such a stupid, brazen, dangerous use of federal funds. Basically, SSAE grants—which are technically for, well, the enrichment of students, but also do not explicitly prohibit firearm purchases—would give DeVos the leeway to approve state and district proposals to use this grant funding to load up on weapons.
A spokesperson for the department, Liz Hill, gave an uncomfortably vague comment to the Times on the matter, “The department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety. The secretary nor the department issues opinions on hypothetical scenarios.”
This brings to mind DeVos’s confirmation hearing, when she was literally asked whether she thought guns had any place in or around schools and she responded, “I think that’s best left to locales and states to decide.’ When pressed, DeVos famously cited grizzly bears as a potential situation in which a firearm in a classroom would be appropriate.