DeVos: Schools Might Need Guns to Defend Against Bears

She defends school choice in testy Senate hearing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2017 4:11 AM CST
Devos: Schools Might Need Guns to Defend Against Bears
Education Secretary hopeful Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Education Secretary hopeful Betsy DeVos was peppered with questions from time-limited Democrats during a testy Senate hearing Tuesday, and the exchange getting the most attention involves bears. When Sen. Chris Murphy asked if she believes that there's no place for guns in school, she referred to a school in Wyoming and told the Democrat: "I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies," CNN reports. She also defended steering money away from public schools with the expansion of charter schools and private school vouchers, reports the New York Times, which notes that the billionaire did not attend public schools or send her children to public schools.

"Parents no longer believe that a one-size-fits-all model of learning meets the needs of every child," DeVos said in her opening remarks, per NPR. "And they know other options exist, whether magnet, virtual, charter, home, faith-based, or any other combination." Democrats complained that the hearing was a "rush job" because the committee's Republican chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, limited senators to five minutes each. The Washington Post reports that DeVos seemed flummoxed several times, including when Sen. Al Franken asked about the "accountability debate" on how to use test scores. In response to a question from Bernie Sanders, DeVos said it was a "possibility" she would still be there even if her family hadn't made large donations to the Republican Party. (More Betsy DeVos stories.)

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