Betsy DeVos' controversial comments on guns in schools

Betsy DeVos set social media on fire during her four hours in the hot seat in Washington, most notably the sound bit where she supports letting districts decide whether guns belong in schools, citing the danger of bear attacks.

"I will refer back to Sen. Enzi and the school he was talking about in Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies," DeVos said.

That quote has been shared thousands of times online as she was grilled about her vision for the future of education iN America.

DeVos was never a teacher but has worked with the Michigan Charter school movement. Today, there are 400 charters in the state -  two-thirds are run by for profit entities.

Her history doesn't sit well with the President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

"Unqualified. She is not an educator. She has not been in education," Ivy Bailey said on Wednesday.

She's not alone. She had an ally in Senator Bernie Sanders who questioned whether should be nominated for the position if she were not a multi-billionaire and made contributions.

"I don't think she would even have gotten the nomination had it not been for the money that she is able to give for donations," Bailey said.

The head of Michigan's Public School Academy had quite a different impression. Dan Quisenberry is the president of the organization which represents 80% of the charter schools in the state and says that charter schools are treated the same as public schools.

"Charter schools are public schools. They're accountable like public schools people choose them just like public schools. They're funded and they're expected to perform just like all public schools, Quisenberry said.

He said that it may be the Democratic senators who were unqualified in their questioning.

"Some of our Senators may be not as well informed about what's public and what's not public," he said.

Neverthless, both sides agree that the priority is the kids.

"We need to start put children first. If children are our most precious resource, Why are we not aciting that way?" Bailey said.

"We got a lot of work to do and what matters more than our kids is getting them ready for future. I'm optimistic about that," Quisenberry said

To be confirmed, DeVos only needs a majority vote from the Senate. There is no definitive timetable for that decision.


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