U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revealed on June 5 that her commission to study school safety, established in the wake of this year’s series of school shootings, will not study the issue of guns. The Federal Commission on School Safety, chaired by DeVos, was established by President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, Florida. But in testimony before a Senate subcommittee, DeVos said gun violence “is not part of the commission’s charge.”
In response, Sen. Pat Murray of Washington, the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate education committee, sent DeVos a letter questioning whether the National Rifle Association was influencing the commission. “While the commission continues to delay meaningful efforts to address gun violence, our nation’s children are paying the price,” wrote Murray.
The commission held a listening session with students — including school shooting survivors — on June 6, and Murray said the event was assembled with too little notice and provided inadequate time for participants to make arrangements to attend.
Several participants in the listening session urged the school safety commission to include gun safety in its mandate. DeVos did not attend.
The Washington Post, June 5
Politico, June 6 and June 12