Pence, DeVos visit North Carolina school to advocate reopening
Vice President Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited a private school Wednesday to advocate for reopening schools across the country this fall.
Pence and DeVos visited the Thales Academy in the swing state of North Carolina to meet with students and host a roundtable with school faculty. The private school reopened with in-person learning earlier this month.
The Trump campaign later tweeted out a video of him talking with fourth graders about what their favorite part of school is, featuring remarks from students saying they were happy to see their friends and teachers.
“To be with your friends is a part of what makes school special, but also … it’s very important, the learning process,” he said. “[S]tudents being together is important.”
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) July 29, 2020
Pence took his mask off part of the way through the session with the students, while DeVos was not seen wearing a mask in the classroom.
Public schools across the Tarheel State are scheduled to reopen Aug. 17, though many students will still be learning remotely.
The visit comes amid a burgeoning national debate over school reopenings, with the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress advocating for schools to resume in-person learning in the fall and Democrats urging a more cautious approach.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign tore into Pence over his Wednesday visit, saying the administration is leaving educators out to dry by pushing them to return to the classrooms without adequate safety precautions.
“Vice President Pence can try to convince educators and students otherwise with this school visit, but the reality is that he has been pushing educators across the country to reopen their doors without putting critical safety measures in place,” said campaign spokesperson Kate Bedingfield. “We need an administration that will put the lives of the American people over their own self-interest.”