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Rep. Meeks Issues Statement on DeVos Seeking to Arm Educators

August 23, 2018

Washington, DCToday, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks issued the following statement regarding considerations by Betsy DeVos' Education Department to allow states to purchase guns for arming educators through Every Student Succeeds Act funding:

"In yet another reckless low for this administration, Secretary Betsy DeVos' Education Department is now considering taking the Every Student Succeeds Act's Title IV funding, meant to improve our nation's poorest schools, and allow states to use those funds to purchase guns and arm educators. Not only is it unprecedented for the administration to allow the purchase of firearms using federal funds without Congressional approval, it is unconscionable to place dangerous weapons in the hands of teachers who are untrained and unwilling to take on such an unreasonable responsibility.

"These considerations make it clear that this administration is more concerned with pleasing the NRA than taking any steps to prevent the next school shooting. Students, teachers, the American public, and, yes, even Congress know that more guns is not the solution. When we provided funding for school safety and violence prevention in the aftermath of Parkland, we explicitly prohibited those funds from being used in the purchase of firearms.

"The Title IV funds targeted by DeVos are meant to promote a healthier school culture, with drug and bullying prevention programs and mental health treatment, specifically for our nation's struggling schools. Ripping away these funds to arm teachers would violate the spirit of the law, and the sentiments of the tax-payers who funded it. As a nation, as parents, we should be angered that the DeVos' Education Department is even considering such an absurd proposal, and that this administration continues to not take seriously real solutions to keep our students safe."