On Tuesday, June 5th, US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told a Senate committee that the federal commission on school safety will not focus on the role of guns in school violence. She also evaded questions that would draw her into a debate regarding gun control.
When the Trump administration first announced the creation of the commission, it charged the commission with bringing “meaningful and actionable recommendations to keep students safe at school.” It also listed a number of areas the commission would examine. The first was age restrictions on certain firearm purchases. Other areas included the examination of ratings systems for video games, the effects of news media coverage of mass shootings, and the consumption of “violent entertainment,” and funding for mental health and school infrastructure resources. The commission has also been charged with considering whether to repeal a package of Obama-era school discipline policies targeted at addressing disciplinary policies that disproportionately affect minority students.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) pleaded with Sec. DeVos to examine the policies of other countries where school shootings are rare or nonexistent, including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Britain.