Betsy DeVos’ Brief, Confusing Visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Her press conference lasted a grand total of eight minutes.

Amy Beth Bennett/TNS via ZUMA Wire

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

On Wednesday, education secretary Betsy DeVos toured Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and met with students and faculty weeks after they survived a mass shooting that left 17 dead at their school. She said she saw therapy dogs, talked to “a small group of students that are having a particularly tough time,” and let students who worked with the school newspaper trail her. 

After the visit, she held an eight-minute press conference. When asked about her support for the idea of letting teachers carry firearms in schools, DeVos said that interpretation was an “oversimplification” and that schools should consider marshal programs like the one in Texas as a model, noting that it may not be for everybody. 

DeVos answered a few more questions, including one about her plans to improve school safety. “It’s appropriate to take a robust inventory of what states are doing and what local communities are doing and elevate those things that are working well,” she said. She didn’t elaborate on specific proposals. 

After the press conference, journalists and students took to Twitter to express their confusion and frustration:

 An editor at the student newspaper denied that DeVos let students follow her:

Meanwhile, Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade showed up at Stoneman Douglas after DeVos made her appearance, much to the surprise of students.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'β€”that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don'tβ€”can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'β€”that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don'tβ€”can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate