The Department of Education is considering using federal funds to pay for teachers’ guns and training to improve school safety.
According to the New York Times, the department is weighing grant options to protect schools from attack. Some programs prohibit the use of funding for firearms, but Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants do not. As such, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos can use discretion for funding teachers guns and firearm training.
After the Parkland shooting, President Trump called for armed teachers to protect themselves and students. In fact, President Trump campaigned on allowing teachers to be armed for self-defense.
“Gun-free zone to a maniac—because they’re all cowards—a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us,’” Trump said. “If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly.”
While some will be against the proposal, some students support for the idea of arming teachers. Hunter Pollack, who lost a sister in the attack, supports the idea.
“I’m not here to debate, but I lost my sister,” said Pollack. “And like Mr. President said, if you could find 20 percent of maybe retired law enforcement officers, or a teacher who could go through discreet training to carry a firearm around his waist, it could’ve been a very different situation.”
Teachers Guns & Training Proposal
While some educational bills prohibit funding for firearms, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants make no mention of firearms. This would allow Sec. DeVos to approve grant funding for firearms and firearm training. Unless, of course, Congress clarifies the law or bans such funding through legislative action.
“The department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety,” said Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Education Department. “The secretary nor the department issues opinions on hypothetical scenarios.”
The Every Student Succeeds Act was designed to improve education in some of the poorest schools in the country. If the proposal goes forward it would be the first time that a federal agency has authorized the purchase of firearms without a congressional mandate.