The US education secretary said parents have the option of investing in bulletproof vests for their children. However, she didn’t elaborate on whether or not she personally believed it was the best course of action to address school shootings.
Speaking in the wake of a Florida school shooting that left 14 students and three staff members dead, Betsy Devos said that if parents were concerned for their children’s safety then it would be a ‘wise investment’ to take the precaution of purchasing a bulletproof vest.
“I think this is an extremely difficult challenge we’re facing. On a federal level, it’s hard for us to dictate state’s rights, especially when it comes to gun control. It’s a hard thing to grapple with, but to me I think that’s where it’s the parent’s responsibility to figure out how to protect their child,” said Devos.
“I think this needs to be part of a bigger conversation where we look at the future and say how can we ensure that when my child, your child, goes to school, they’re going to feel safe and protected and be able to pursue learning head-on.”
When pressed further on whether she personally supported putting bulletproof vests on children, Devos said: “I think that’s really an issue for families to talk through at the dinner table. Parents need to decide if they care enough about their children to pay the price. I’d recommend something kevlar, but there’s other materials that work pretty well. At the end of the day, the last thing we want to do is interfere with someone’s right to bear an AR-15 just for some children that may or may not even grow up to be anything special.”
“Guns are as much apart of the American way as freedom of speech,” said Devos. “What we really need to be focused on, is creating affordable bulletproof attire and bookbags for our children to wear to school.”
She added that she was “devastated” by the Florida shooting and that there have been far too many of this situations, but that the nation is just shit out of luck.