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

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

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosStudents call on DeVos to offer free tampons, pads in schools to address 'period poverty' DeVos recovering from broken pelvis, hip socket after bicycle accident Student veterans deserve better than the DeVos agenda MORE defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview 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.