DeVos: 'Congress needs to be holding hearings' on school shootings

DeVos: 'Congress needs to be holding hearings' on school shootings
© Greg Nash

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDon’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to take over Afghan war MORE said Thursday that Congress needs to hold hearings on issues regarding school shootings after 17 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a South Florida high school.

“Congress needs to be holding hearings on these issues. And we’ve seen lots of discussion about this every time we’ve had another incident,” DeVos said during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

“We've seen, you know, lots of finger pointing back and forth. But we need to have a conversation at the level where lawmakers can actually impact the future, because going back to and putting myself in the seat of one of those families impacted, you know, one of these shootings is one too many."

DeVos said there needs to be an "honest conversation," adding that Congress must "lead on this."

"It’s their job," she said.

DeVos said there needs to be a larger conversation surrounding mental health.

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"I think it’s critically important that we have a much more robust conversation around tracking and tackling mental health issues, and really bringing this all together," she said.

"Because it’s clear that, it seems to be clear that this young man put up lots and lots of signals and warning signs."

She was also asked about the idea of having teachers who are properly trained and know how to use weapons.

"I think this is an important issue for all states to grapple with and to tackle," she said during the interview. "They clearly have the opportunity and the option to do that. And there is, there are differences in how states approach this."

At least 17 people were killed and more than a dozen were wounded when a shooting broke out at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Multiple lawmakers have since called for Congress to take action on gun violence to prevent another tragedy.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE on Wednesday offered his condolences following the shooting. On Thursday, he denounced the mass shooting, saying he is "making plans" to visit the schools where it took place.

He also said he would "tackle the difficult issue of mental health," but did not mention any specific actions he planned to take to curb gun violence.

The suspected gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.