Education Secretary Betsy DeVos struggled to describe her and the administration’s stance on a number of education issues on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday, in an interview with host Lesley Stahl.
DeVos, who is expected to be appointed as the head of a new commission on school safety today, sought to avoid confronting student demands for tighter gun control after the recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Stahl noted that the school’s students criticized DeVos’s visit, accusing her of seeking publicity and avoiding their questions. In response, DeVos said that she gives “a lot of credit to the students there for really raising their voices.” When Stahl stated that the students want gun control, DeVos answered that “they want a variety of things, they want solutions.”
When Stahl asked outright whether teachers should have guns in classrooms, DeVos offered a noncommittal answer. While she argued that it “should be an option for states and communities to consider,” DeVos went on to say that she would hesitate to think of “like my first grade teacher, Mrs. Zoerhoff…having a gun and being trained in that way.”
She then changed tack again, adding, “but for those who are capable, this is one solution that can and should be considered, but no one size fits all.”
Federal Commission on School Safety
As the Trump administration pushes to address the issue of school violence, DeVos contended that she sees herself as a “leader in this subject,” as demonstrated by her request to “head up a task force that will really look at what states are doing.”
The federal commission will include local, federal, and school officials and will be charged with making recommendations to Trump for how to best avoid future school shootings.