Florida student: DeVos ‘wasn’t informative or helpful at all’
A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who met with Betsy DeVos during her visit to Parkland, Fla., said the Education secretary “wasn’t informative or helpful” and offered no solutions for school shootings.
Senior Kyra Parrow told the school’s student newspaper, The Eagle Eye, that DeVos didn’t visit the school to discuss solutions to stop school shootings, but instead visited simply for the experience.
“She didn’t come to inform us or talk about how we are going to fix this issue; she just came to say that she came. That disappoints me,” Parrow said.
“She wasn’t informative or helpful at all. It’s nice that she came to give us condolences, but we are so done with thoughts and prayers. We want action.”
Students said DeVos visited the school for roughly an hour, speaking to them in the auditorium and offering her condolences before leaving. Principal Ty Thompson told the newspaper he was encouraged by an outpouring of support from DeVos and other government officials.
“It’s unfortunate that this all has to occur under such terrible circumstances and that we are in this situation,” Thompson said. “But, the love and support from around the world has been unprecedented. … They are all here to show love and support for our school, which is heartwarming for me.”
DeVos’s visit drew criticism from other Parkland shooting survivors on social media, such as student Sarah Chadwick, who tweeted that “literally no one asked for this.”
Fellow student Kyle Kashuv responded to the criticism with praise for DeVos’s visit, stating that he met with the secretary.
“I did, actually. @BetsyDeVosED @BetsyDeVos is an American patriot and is the Sec. of EDUCATION which means she is a great person to talk with about SCHOOL safety,” Kashuv tweeted in response to Chadwick.
DeVos also spoke briefly with reporters and admonished what she said was an “oversimplification” of President Trump and his administration’s views on school safety.
“Let’s be clear. I think to say ‘arming teachers’ is an oversimplification and a mischaracterization, really,” DeVos said. “The concept is for those schools and those communities that opt to do this … is to have people who are expert in being able to defend, and having lots and lots of training in order to do so.”