As if it wasn’t horrifying enough when President Donald Trump insisted that the solution to school shootings was to put more guns in the classroom, a new report on Thursday said the Department of Education is now considering using federal funds to finance their awful idea.
According to the New York Times, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is looking at allowing schools to use the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants—part of the $1 billion Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015—to buy firearms. On the grant homepage, the Department of Education explains that the money is used to:
To improve student’s academic achievement by increasing the capacity of States, local educational agencies, schools and local communities to: (1) provide all students with access to a well-rounded education; (2) improve school conditions for student learning; and (3) improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy for all students.
Notably, the Times explained, the grant program contains no language that specifically bars it from being applied toward instruments of death.
Citing “people familiar with the department’s thinking,” the Times says the DoE would justify the gun purchases by claiming they would be part of the grant program’s mandate to “improve school conditions.”
This is hardly the first time DeVos has come down hard on the position of “Hey, wouldn’t it be great if your math teacher could, y’know, kill someone.” Despite having insisted that her School Safety Commission would not be looking into the role guns play in school shootings, DeVos has repeatedly brought up arming teachers, saying at one point that it’s “one solution that can and should be considered.” And during her Senate confirmation hearing, DeVos claimed that one reason schools might be interested in purchasing guns is to defend themselves from grizzly bear attacks.
I have reached out to the Department of Education for comment and will update this story if they reply.