DeVos: State, local governments should take action on school shootings
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday that urgent action is needed to keep students safe following last week’s school shooting in Texas — but added that local and state governments bear the brunt of responsibility for campus safety.
“We must ensure our children are safe at school. This administration is committed to keeping our nation’s students and teachers safe at school,” DeVos told the House Education Committee.
“Naturally, the primary responsibility for the physical security of schools rests with states and local communities.”
DeVos made no mention of guns or gun violence during her testimony.
“We are looking forward to every interest group, every constituency, particularly teachers, parents and law enforcement and school leadership,” she said. “We simply cannot allow this trend to continue.”
DeVos heads up the four-person Commission on School Safety, which also includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The commission has met two times.
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) asked why the commission’s report couldn’t come out more quickly, and added, “Students today are telling me that they walk into a classroom and the first thing they do is look for where they can hide.”
DeVos responded that the panel is working as fast as possible and that her department was doing what it could, without offering specifics.