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Teacher federation president slams DeVos' plan for arming teachers

• Aug 28, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Writing for TheHill.com, Randi Weingarten slams Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for trading federal money “used for after-school programs and school counselors in order to arm our children’s teachers.”

In her post, “There are many ways to make schools safer, arming teachers is the last thing we should do,” Weingarten says “this idea is one of the most reckless and dangerous ideas I’ve heard from her.”

“Under the plan exposed by the New York Times, DeVos would divert funding that goes principally to vulnerable and poor kids through community schools, mental health programs, college and career counseling, after-school programs, and other services that help keep kids safe and help them learn,” Weingarten writes. “Instead, the plan would allow states to use that money to buy guns for educators. Regardless of where you fall on the debate on guns, everyone agrees we need more mental health services. Everyone agrees we need more counselors. But DeVos is trying to take them away from our kids.”

Weingarten, who serves as president of the American Federation of Teachers, asks if DeVos intends to have a kindergarten teacher interacting with her students with a holstered gun on her hip.

“Would the teacher need to engage in gunfire instead of getting her students to a safe place? How could teachers ever receive enough training to engage in a shootout with someone who has a military weapon, especially in the chaos of students and other educators fleeing for safety? The more you think it through, the crazier the plan sounds.”

Weingarten says educators, students and parents have made clear that they don’t want more guns in schools, and that teachers want to teach and students want to learn.

“They want their schools to be safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses,” she says.

Do you agree or disagree? Read the complete blog post, then comment below.

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