Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently found herself having to fend off yet another attack from Senate Democrats over yet another false allegation that she instigated a dastardly scheme to sabotage the public education system. While feigning concern for the safety of the nation’s school children, Democrats have consistently refused to engage in any serious debate about how schools can best be secured against active shooter incidents. Even worse, they resist any effort to provide enhanced security for schools and are now attacking DeVos for refusing to prohibit school districts from spending federal grant money on firearms and training.
There are many new political realities in the post-Obama era, and none is more consistent than the expectation that, in the absence of a real political or cultural crisis, the Democrats will manufacture one. DeVos has been a constant target of Democratic ire; Democrats see the Department of Education (DoED) – like the Environmental Protection Agency – as one of the main vehicles for the advancement of their ever more extreme left-wing agenda.
A portion of federal funding for school districts across the country is earmarked for safety. In the wake of high-profile tragedies involving mass shootings in schools, some states and districts have chosen to consider arming staff to better protect both students and themselves from possible active shooter situations. Citing such intentions, Democrats have crafted a false narrative that the current administration is, somehow, promoting the purchase of firearms for schools.
Politico reports that Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) recently took to Twitter to express her disappointment that DeVos intended to “move forward with this awful plan.” The flaw in Murray’s statement is that there is no “plan.” DeVos was confronted on whether she intended to take action preventing schools from using federal money to purchase firearms or firearms training for school staff and faculty members willing to sign on for it. She, the education secretary, was not moving forward with any plan. As she pointed out in a letter to Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), the ranking member on the House education committee, she did not have the authority to dictate to states or to school districts how the school safety money is spent.
Essentially, the Democrats and their allies in the media engaged in a little entrapment to manufacture a shocking, fictional story – intended, it appears, to portray DeVos as the newest spokesperson for the National Rifle Association: The media publishes fake news of DeVos’s cunning plan to arm school teachers; The DoED chief gets asked if she intends to prevent schools from purchasing firearms for protection; she answers no, because she does not even have the power to do such a thing, and, as a result, she is pilloried for initiating an “awful plan.”
A Lesson In Civics
In a letter to Scott, DeVos directly addressed the accusations that she was “pursuing a plan to authorize states and local school districts to use funds … to purchase firearms or conduct firearms training for school staff.”
“As I have stated publicly on numerous occasions since I was appointed for this position, I will not legislate via fiat from the Department. Therefore, I will not take any action that would expand or restrict the responsibilities and flexibilities granted to state and local education agencies by Congress.” – (emphasis DeVos’s).
States and school districts do have “substantial flexibility” in how they spend the federal money according to their differing needs and local decision-making, DeVos also pointed out in the letter. It is Congress, rather than the DoED, that must place limits or conditions on how federal funds are spent when a bill is written and/or amended in the House.
Peculiar, then, that Democrats who constantly sound alarm bells over the alleged dictatorial nature of President Donald Trump’s administration would be disappointed that his education secretary refuses to overrule Congress on how school districts spend federal grant money.
Even more peculiar is why the opposition party continues to adamantly oppose any and all measures to use firearms to physically secure schools against active shooters. Could it be that Democrats need more school shootings to continue their crusade against the Second Amendment, or is it that they do not wish the public to realize that gun-free zones, once no longer gun-free, are far less likely to be targeted?