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Senators call for DeVos to testify about guns in schools

September 7, 2018

Politicians have followed the lead of Sandy Hook activists calling on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to renounce plans that would allow local school districts to use federal education grants for arming teachers.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on Friday called for DeVos to testify at an upcoming committee hearing about news reports that she is considering using taxpayer money earmarked for student enrichment and safe classrooms to pay for guns and firearms training for teachers.

“If finalized, this proposal would be a significant departure from Congressional intent, a dramatic overstep of the Department’s authority, and most importantly, could make students, teachers, and other school staff less safe,” reads a letter to leaders of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, signed by Murphy and nine other senators, including Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.

“Allowing school districts to use this money to help schools buy guns flies in the face of what Congress clearly stated in federal law — that schools should be free of weapons,” the letter reads.

Murphy’s call for DeVos to testify comes two weeks after gun violence prevention activists from Sandy Hook Promise and Newtown Action Alliance implored DeVos to take the idea off the table.

“As senators we have an obligation to address gun violence and keep schools safe for all students,” the senators’ letter reads.

rryser@newstimes.com 203-731-3342

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