Obama Official Says Keep Kids Home to Fight Guns

Arne Duncan was US Secretary of Education under President Obama
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2018 3:30 PM CDT
Ex Education Secretary: Keep Kids Home to Change Gun Laws
A July 2014 file photo shows Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaking at the White House   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

An official from the Obama administration has suggested parents nationwide force Congress to act on gun control by keeping their kids home from school. Arne Duncan, a former US Secretary of Education, made the statement in a tweet on Friday after 10 people were gunned down in an east Texas high school. "This is brilliant, and tragically necessary," wrote the 53-year-old father of two. "What if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe?" Per Duncan's hometown Chicago Tribune, he wrote the tweet in response to a similar one penned by former education department employee Peter Cunningham. "My family is all in if we can do this at scale," continued Duncan, who now heads up an anti-gun violence organization in Chicago. "Parents, will you please join us?"

In an interview that followed the tweet, Duncan appeared to walk back the statement to a degree. Calling any such boycott "difficult," Duncan said it's just one of many possible solutions that should be considered in the ongoing debate about gun laws and school shootings. While the boycott idea appeared to spark interest from parents on social media, some criticized it as impractical for working families of limited means. In an interview with the Washington Post, Duncan blamed a lack of "political courage" for ongoing inaction on the issue. Friday's shooting in Santa Fe, Texas has reignited debate surrounding gun laws as students from Parkland, Florida's February school shooting jumped into the fray with messages of support to victims and calls to action for politicians. (More gun control stories.)

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