DeVos: School-safety panel won’t look at guns


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

The federal school-safety commission set up after the deadly shooting at a Florida high school will not examine the role of guns in school violence, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday.

DeVos’ testimony to a Senate subcommittee came amid criticism by Democrats and some educators that the panel, set up by President Donald Trump in March, was focused more on distracting public attention rather than truly addressing gun violence.

During a hearing on education spending, DeVos was asked whether the commission that she is chairing will look at guns in the context of school safety.

“That is not part of the commission’s charge per se,” DeVos told a Senate subcommittee overseeing education spending. “We are actually studying school safety and how we can ensure our students are safe at school.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, who asked the question, quipped.

“So you are studying gun violence, but not considering the role of guns.”

DeVos’ spokeswoman Liz Hill later clarified in a statement that the commission will look at all the issues the president asked it to study. She added, however, “It’s important to note that the commission cannot create or amend current gun laws – that is the Congress’ job.”

Nor will the commission look at best practices of foreign nations that have much lower rates of gun violence, DeVos said.

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