August 23, 2018

Action Alert:
Tell Your 2 Senators: Do NOT Use My Tax Dollars to Arm Teachers

Update: The Federal Commission on School Safety chaired by Betsy DeVos released its final report on December 18, 2018. The commission did not recommend arming teachers, instead advising, “school districts may consider arming some specially selected and trained school personnel.” The report also urged states to adopt Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) to allow the temporary seizure of firearms from individuals in crisis. On the subject of mental health, the reports stressed there is no statistical correlation between gun violence and mental illness. Finally, the commission argued there is limited evidence to support age-based restrictions on firearm purchases. On the whole, this was a remarkably better result than expected. Thanks to all those who took action!

The New York Times is reporting that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is considering a proposal to give states federal dollars to arm teachers in K-12 schools. Worse still, she has found a loophole with which she can do it unless there is a change to the existing appropriations bill for the Department of Education.

DeVos made headlines in March 2018 when she announced her Federal Commission on School Safety, created in reponse to constant school shootings in the U.S., would NOT consider any gun reforms.

DeVos wants to allocate money through the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants program, which “is intended for academic and enrichment opportunities in the country’s poorest schools and calls for school districts to use the money toward…improving school conditions.” This would get her around legislative language in other parts of the appropriations bill that expressly prohibits her department from funding guns for schools.

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut has introduced an amendement that we need to act on right now that would stop DeVos from funding guns for teachers with our taxpayer dollars through Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants.

Please take one or more of the following actions:

1) Contact your two Senators through the U.S. Capitol hotline at (202) 224-3121 (or through their websites if you prefer) and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:

Senator, I do NOT give you my consent as a citizen to use my taxpayer dollars to arm teachers in K-12 schools. I am contacting you today to demand you support the amendment offered by Senator Chris Murphy to the Department of Education appropriations bill that would prohibit the agency from funding guns in schools using Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants. It absolutely sickens me that immediate action was not taken by the Senate to prevent Betsy DeVos from taking such a horrific action in the wake of so much gun violence in this country. DeVos hurt our country when she refused to consider gun reform as part of her Federal Commission on School Safety, and she’s hurting us now with this cheap attempt to curry favor with the NRA that threatens the safety and well-being of our children. SUPPORT THE MURPHY AMENDMENT and prohibit the Department of Education from buying guns for our teachers!!! If you don’t, don’t be surprised to see extensive nonviolent protest around you.

If you don’t know who your two Senators are, or want their direct-dial numbers, click here:

If you would prefer to call swing Senators as opposed to your own two Senators, here are some direct-dial numbers:

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): 202-224-2523
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): 202-224-6665
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT): 202-224-2644
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND): 202-224-2043
Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN): 202-224-4814
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV): 202-224-3954

2) Sign Sen. Murphy’s petition to Congress calling for support for his amendment:

3) Contact Betsy DeVos to share your feelings about her proposal:

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
Phone: (202) 401-1576 

Once you take one or more of the above actions, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!

This is an action alert, NOT an online petition. Please take the action before filling out the fields below.

354 people have taken this action