Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten on DeVos’ ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump’s School Safety Proposals

For Release: 

Monday, March 12, 2018


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten responding to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ “60 Minutes” interview and President Trump’s school safety proposals:

“The White House proposal to harden schools and to arm teachers is straight out of the NRA playbook. It is antithetical to the needs of children and ignores the purposes of public education. The administration made a choice to listen to the NRA and gun manufacturers, rather than parents, students, teachers, law enforcement and communities. And while the plan takes baby steps to strengthen the background check system, it will mean more guns in schools and, as a result, more potential for violence and tragedy. What a missed opportunity.

“Based on Betsy DeVos’ performance on ‘60 Minutes’ last night, and at Stoneman Douglas High School last week, it’s clear the secretary of education knows little if anything about how to ensure safe and welcoming schools, much less an appropriate environment for teaching and learning. How is she possibly equipped to lead a commission on school safety?

“We gave President Trump the benefit of the doubt—just like we did on the Dreamers—sending him a letter asking to let us share what we know, as educators. But he’d rather listen to the NRA, and do its bidding, than be a champion of children.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.