DeVos visit draws criticism from Parkland students

DeVos visit draws criticism from Parkland students
© 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’s visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a shooter killed 17 people and left many others wounded, was met with criticism by some students.

After news broke that DeVos would be going to the Florida school on Wednesday, a number of students took to social media to express their thoughts, with some talking about a walkout.

Many of the students have been pressing for government to pass gun control laws following the school shooting. Several, including Emma González, one of those criticizing DeVos, also have been public figures and attained large social media followings by speaking out publicly for gun control.



Other students said they wanted to meet with DeVos because they want to discuss school safety with her.

DeVos’s visit came on the first full day of classes that Stoneman Douglas has had since the school reopened following the shooting.


Students said that during her visit DeVos didn’t speak with many of the students or answer their questions.


DeVos took a few minutes after her visit to have a press conference but did not share details about what she discussed with the students. She did say she doesn’t think every community needs to be required to arm teachers.

"Let's be clear. I think to say 'arming teachers' is an oversimplification and a mischaracterization, really," DeVos told reporters. "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."

In the past, DeVos has said that guns might be appropriate in rural schools.

The shooting has reignited a national debate over gun control, largely led by survivors of the shooting.

The students have been vocal about their support for gun control and have targeted the National Rifle Association and politicians backed by the gun group.

They are organizing a “March for Our Lives” rally against gun violence to be held in Washington, D.C., and other cities on March 24.