Why Betsy DeVos’ Policies Are Too Lax


Palmer Montalbano

*The following piece is satirical and in no way reflects the opinion of the writer or Vanderbilt Political Review

In recent headlines Betsy DeVos has expressed her desire to use federal funds to arm teachers. The justification behind allowing teachers and staff to carry weapons is the idea that a “good guy” with a gun will be able to stop the “bad guy” with a gun. Although DeVos’ idea has theoretical backing, it does not do enough to stop the bad guys.

The problem with arming teachers is the lack of guarantee that children will be safer. If the aggressor happens to defeat the teacher, no other safety measure is in place. If the teacher IS the attacker, there is no insurance against the damage that could be done.

The solution is quite simple: arm the students. A multitude of good guys with weapons have a much higher chance of success against a single bad guy, countering the chance that the attacker overcomes an armed teacher or staff member. There are 23.1 students to every teacher in the average classroom in America, offering much better odds to the students if someone attempts to harm them, including their own teacher. An army of students will discourage anyone from even considering an attack on a school again.

There are other benefits to arming students. The United States would see a decrease in bullying, as the potential retaliation becomes much higher against the bully. Teachers would assign less homework, not wanting to aggravate their armed students who greatly outnumber them. If the United States is attacked, a militia of able-bodied individuals would be immediately ready to defend the country. Economically, the arms industry would see exponential growth, creating a larger job pool. Arming students might be one of the best possibilities for the future of the United States and the world.

The question becomes: at what level should students be armed? It is important to teach the youth early about the benefits of firearms. It is also important to protect the most vulnerable of our population. Therefore, students should be armed no later than first grade to ensure their safety and to establish the procedures that will protect our schools for years to come. Some experts have considered younger, but kindergarten classes tend to be smaller, diminishing the benefits of a large number of armed students. Also, studies show that these younger children are far removed from a mature age.

A concern about arming children is equality, as some students may have the benefit of being better armed than their peers depending on socioeconomic status. DeVos and Congress do not wish to divide students and will have to allow room for subsidising weapons in the federal budget. Also, regulations must be established to limit the number and type of firearms students may bring to school. A popular option is allowing students to have one large caliber pistol and one small caliber automatic rifle, offering a range of options to stop an attacker while ensuring equality between students.

Arming teachers does not make sense, as the risk is much higher than the reward. Once funding is approved, students can be armed to provide safety for us all. Hopefully DeVos will realize her mistake and change course for the better.