It is the National Rifle Association who came up with the plan of arming teachers with guns. And now, various activist groups and teacher groups want to know more. And if the NRA had a hand in the Department of Education’s decision, they want to sue them.
The anger is over schools using federal funds to arm their teacher with guns. This when teachers are often using their own money to supply pens, paper, and general school equipment to their pupils.
The different groups are the American Federation of Teachers, Southern Poverty Law Centre, and the Giffords Law Centre to Prevent Gun Violence. The three accused the Department of Education of violating federal law, saying they are not being open or honest and are not handing over records related to this decision, in fair time.
The groups filed two different Freedom of Information Act requests, asking for more information on arming teachers and where the Department of Education is going to get the money. The groups worked with Democracy Forward who filed the requests on their behalf.
One of the requests is trying to find out how much the Department of Education has been influenced by the NRA, the National Rifle Association, and other gun loving groups. The other was to find out which school districts were keen to arm teachers by making use of federal funds.
By law, the government has 20 days to decide if they want to comply with such requests. According to Democracy Forward, the government has not met its statutory obligations. None of the information they requested is forthcoming.
Polls done at schools about arming teachers have been met mostly with shock and horror. Children have enough to contend with. The fact that their teachers, peaceful people, could bear arms, although in the guise of protecting the children, is pretty horrifying. Most groups feel there are other ways to deal with school shootings and the safety of kids.
It also seems that Education Secretary Betsy Devos, a clear Trump supporter and National Rifle Association supporter, is weighing in heavily on the use of federal grant money. The New York Times has reported that she does not want to restrict how grant funds are spent and wrote to say she did not intend to take action if firearms were bought for school staff to use. Of course, training is vital.
Most people it seems do not want federal wants used in this way. The law, however, seems vague, as to how the Department of Education chooses to use federal funds.
We think pens and paper and books would be a good idea.
Critics of Betsy Davos say her move is undermining the intent of the act. Congress has not allowed schools to use federal funds on guns for teachers, in different laws. The groups filing these lawsuits say that the Department of Education using federal funds in his way is highly illegal.
Should teachers actually be armed still remains debatable.