DeVos: Trump's plan to arm teachers 'mischaracterized'

DeVos: Trump's plan to arm teachers 'mischaracterized'
© Greg Nash

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosFormer DeVos chief of staff joins anti-Trump group Ex-Pence aide throws support behind Biden, citing Trump's virus response OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' MORE defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE's plan to arm some teachers to protect students from would-be school shooters in remarks on Wednesday after visiting the site of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school.

"Let's be clear. I think to say 'arming teachers' is an oversimplification and a mischaracterization, really," DeVos told reporters after meeting with students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "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."

"Polk County [in central Florida] is a great example here," she added.

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"They are required and requested to do training that is above and beyond what the deputies in that country are actually trained to," she continued. "So the standards are actually very, very high, and I think that's a model that can be adopted and should be an option for schools, for states, for communities. But it's certainly not one that needs to be required or mandated for every community."

DeVos noted that she did not discuss the proposal with them during her visit with Parkland students earlier in the morning.

"We didn't have a conversation about that," she said. "I was just there to be there, to be with them."

Trump met with Parkland students both at a Florida hospital and during a White House "listening session" on school safety after the February shooting that killed 17 students and faculty members.

Students from the school have launched a national effort to address gun violence and school shootings in the wake of the tragedy, with a pro-gun control March for Our Lives planned for the National Mall in Washington later this month.