DeVos: No plans to fund arming teachers

DeVos: No plans to fund arming teachers

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says she has “no intention of taking any action” regarding any possible use of federal funds to arm teachers or provide them with firearms training.

DeVos’ comments came Friday after a top official in her department, asked about arming teachers, said states and local jurisdictions always “had the flexibility” to decide how to use federal education funds.

Frank Brogan, assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education, said arming educators “is a good example of a profoundly personal decision on the part of a school or a school district or even a state.” President Donald Trump and DeVos have said schools may benefit from having armed teachers and should have that option.

DeVos said Friday that “Congress did not authorize me or the Department to make those decisions” about arming teachers or training them on the use of firearms.

Her comments were in a letter to Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott, the top Democrat on the House committee overseeing education, and were posted by the department on Twitter.

“I will not take any action that would expand or restrict the responsibilities and flexibilities granted to state and local education agencies by Congress,” DeVos wrote.

Democrats and education groups have argued, however, that the funds are intended for academics, not guns.

DeVos heads a federal commission on school safety that was formed after the deadly Valentine’s Day shooting at a Florida high school.

An early draft of the commission’s report recommends that states and communities determine “based on the unique circumstances of each school” whether to arm its security personnel and teachers to be able to respond to violence. The draft’s section on training school personnel was reviewed by AP.

That approach, the draft says, “can be particularly helpful” in rural districts where the nearest police unit may be far away. Other recommendations included employing school resource officers and ensuring they worked closely with the rest of the school staff.

In an interview with The Associated Press Thursday, Brogan cited the “school marshal” program in Texas where school employees can volunteer to carry weapons on campuses after undergoing training. Educators from some remote rural schools also told the panel that they rely on armed school personnel because the police may take too long to arrive. Others, however, argued that arming teachers is dangerous and could make schools feel like prisons.

Brogan said the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan law that shifts education authority to states, provides about $1 billion in annual funding for various school needs, including 20 percent specifically set aside for school safety.

“The people at the local level who’ve been there for years could make the decisions about what services to purchase, what equipment to buy to fulfill the general broad obligations laid out in that law,” he said.

It would be up to Congress, not the U.S. Department of Education, to place any restrictions or barriers to use those funds for purposes not currently in the law, a department spokeswoman said.

The debate arose earlier this month after a small rural school district in Oklahoma and the state of Texas asked the department to clarify what the funds can be used for.

“The position is: You have the language … the language was written specifically to and always interpreted to mean ‘this is your money,'” Brogan said.

Democratic lawmakers and teachers blasted the idea, accusing the Trump administration of acting in the interests of the National Rifle Association, and several congressmen called for legislation that would prohibit the use of those funds for guns.

Senator Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate commission overseeing education, said on Twitter that she was “extremely disappointed that (DeVos) is moving forward with this awful plan to allow federal funds to be used to arm teachers.”

“I hope she reconsiders and we need to keep pressure on her until she does,” Murray added.

Brogan also clarified that the commission will tackle gun control as instructed by the White House. DeVos had told a Senate hearing in June that the panel will not look at guns “per se,” causing confusion. Brogan said the commission will consider age restrictions for gun purchases, as well as whether people with mental health problems who are likely to harm themselves and others can possess weapons.

Brogan said the panel will produce a tool kit “that provides recognized best practices, not just the shiny new object on school safety, but what people are already doing that seems to be showing a track record of success that can be put out there in inventory fashion.”

“You cannot do that with a uniform approach to this thing because the country is so very different, place to place, school to school, state to state,” Brogan said. “There is no one way to make schools safe.”

Besides recommendations on arming and training school staff, the research and best practices identified by the panel will include suggestions on equipping schools with magnetometers and other safety tools, character development programs and the impact of video games and movies on violent behavior. The report will be issued in “very late fall or by the end of the year,” Brogan said.

The commission was created by President Donald Trump in March after 17 people were killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The panel is chaired by DeVos and also consists of the heads of the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security.


This story has been corrected to delete reference to Brogan saying agency will let states decide on use of federal funds to arm teachers.

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5 Mistakes I Made On Teachers Pay Teachers!!!

Becoming a seller on TpT can be SO overwhelming. I launched my TpT store in in early 2016 and didn’t see a sale until late in the year. I was a week away from making all of my resources free because nobody was buying my products. I wanted to know how people were making sales on TpT and why I wasn’t.

After taking a cold, hard look at my store and looking at some of the best sellers, I started fine tuning my store and saw the sales come in. It turns out that I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. These mistakes were sending potential buyers away.

Once I reached my target audience and had a store that looked sharp, I started seeing more sales.

Ever since I have improved my store, I have been featured on the newsletter several times and have also made (and stayed) on the TpT front page (video section). Can you believe that??!!! A little itty bitty store like mine made the front page!!!

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So no, the number of followers and the number of products you have are not as important! What matters most is the quality of your content and if YOUR CONTENT SOLVES A PROBLEM for someone.

If your products solve people’s problems, they will pay you for them.

Nowadays I make sales daily on TpT and I also generate an income from YouTube and affiliate links. I throw all of my profits into an investment account or use them to reinvest back into the business.

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How Teachers Can Respond to Charlottesville

The day the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri decided to not charge the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an event that was later followed by massive riots and protests, was also the day before my class of high schoolers was about to go on Thanksgiving Break.
Now teachers, you know what the day before a holiday can be like.
(Mayhem- or chickens running around with heads cut off)
As a teacher, I had to make the decision of whether to talk about this nationally relevant, but politically charged and emotional event with my class,
Or if I should just have them create hand turkeys and tell stories about pilgrims.
I decided to get into it, and the next hour of class was one of the most powerful moments I’d ever had since becoming a teacher.
It started with some of my white students quickly condemning protesters and rioters, and denouncing the response of many in the African American community in Ferguson for how they handled what they were considering injustice. I heard things like, No one should be mad enough to react like that. And, They should find a better way to protest. Meanwhile the black students in my room sat quiet.
This conversation was getting heavy fast, and I wanted to hit the abort button.
But then one of the black students in the room, who sat quietly the whole time with balled up fists, responded that it’s easy to not understand why they rioted in Ferguson if you’ve never been followed through a grocery store or stopped by the police for no reason. And then another kid talked about how his grandfather was lynched back in the 60’s, and one girl shared how her stepdad is black, and her family doesn’t go out much because of how people look at them.
Story after story flooded my room, and there was anger there, but also sadness and heartbreak, and it was all built up and raw, and the kids didn’t not hold back on what was inside of them.
At the end of it, not everyone was on one side of the issue, or could fully empathize with the minority and majority in the room,
But every kid in that class was closer to each other than they were before. A lot of that repressed anger was released, no longer bottled up, but out there in the world for others to attempt to understand. And most of the kids in my room attempted to understand it.
And for most of the conversation, I just stood against the wall and listened.
It can be so tempting to avoid those difficult conversations with your students. They can be hard and uncomfortable, but they also have so much power to bring each other together. The stories and discussion created unity, and isn’t that what we want above all else.
There are students in your class who have very strong opinions concerning the recent events in Charlottesville. They have stories and experiences that are bottled up, and the chaos that’s been happening lately keeps giving them more and more to repress and feel angry and sad about.
What if they didn’t have to hold it in anymore?
What if we were bold, and created a space where we can actually get real?
You might have a different opinion than some of your students about Charlottesville. And you know what, that’s okay. Because you don’t have to share the same opinion with all of them in order to listen.

Funky Suspense- Bensound
Ether – Silent Partner:
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Girls excluded from school when teachers measured trousers with a ruler

Girls excluded from school when teachers measured trousers with a ruler

Ellie Young 14 (left) and sister Mollie Young 12 (right) of Barnsley, sisters who were told their school trousers were too tight. Children have been excluded from school after teachers used RULERS to see if their trousers were wide enough. Barnsley Academy in South Yorkshire introduced a rule stating that trousers must be at least 10cm wide, on January 5, the first day back after Christmas. However, parents say they received no notice and were outraged when their children were sent home for wearing their normal uniforms.’
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