MSNBC Guest Suggests Arming Teachers Will Lead to Black Students 'Getting Shot' For Discipline

During Thursday morning's MSNBC Live, host Hallie Jackson and her panel engaged in a discussion about a New York Times report describing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s plans to allow schools to use Federal funds to buy guns for their teachers and it included quite a head-scratcher as the headline indicates.

After playing a clip of President Trump advocating that “we have to harden our schools” shortly after the Parkland, Florida school shooting, Jackson opened by proclaiming that DeVos’s new policy proposal “would be a major change away from the government’s longstanding policy not to set up schools with weapons.” She then read aloud a tweet from former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords strongly condemning the policy, arguing that it “recklessly puts American children in even more danger.” 

Jackson introduced panelists Erica Green of The New York Times, Politico’s Anna Palmer, and PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor. Jackson asked Green, who wrote the New York Times article outlining DeVos’s new policy proposal, whether or not the proposal was hypothetical. Green responded:

It’s very real. I mean, the law allows for it and that, you know, the federal education law, particularly this grant and this pot of money, has no restrictions on purchasing firearms. Whereas in other grants that allow for school safety measures, there are express prohibitions on purchasing firearms and weapons. So that’s exactly why the Department is considering whether or not it’s legal, whether or not it’s in its purview.

Jackson proceeded to paint a dystopian view of America under Devos’s Department of Education, complaining that she had lifted regulatory scrutiny of “predatory” for-profit colleges. In addition, Jackson expressed furhter concern:

She’s begun dismissing civil rights cases in the name of efficiency. She’s proposing rules that would cut student loan relief by an estimated $13 billion and Axios claims that the Education Department is ignoring mistreatment of transgender students. 

Jackson asked the panel “where is our federal education system going under Secretary DeVos and the Trump administration?”

After giving a non-answer to Jackson’s question, instead electing to recite the left-wing talking point describing DeVos as “someone who was very controversial when she was coming in,” Alcindor went off the deep end:

Some advocates are very worried about the racial impacts that this will have. You look at Erica’s reporting, if you start arming teachers, and you look at the statistics and see that there are black and brown students...who are being disciplined more than their white counterparts, you can then start seeing statistics where potentially black students are getting shot or in accidents when teachers are trying to shoot or trying to do gun safety measures.

Alcindor added that “there’s this idea that the NAACP and other advocacy groups say not only are we looking at this as an issue issue but it’s also an idea that racially it’s going to be a problem.” 

 

Based on the hysterical coverage of the MSNBC panel, one could easily conclude that Devos’s new policy proposal forces all teachers to carry weapons in the classroom. In reality, the new proposal would simply give states the option to use federal money to buy guns for teachers with the appropriate training and expertise in firearm use. Not surprisingly, for liberals and their media allies, they see gun control as the only way to stop school shootings and thus reacted as such to this proposal.

A transcript of the relevant portion of MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson is below. Click “expand” to read more.

MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson

08/23/18

10:39 a.m.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We have to harden our schools, not soften them up. A gun free zone to a killer or somebody that wants to be a killer, that’s like going in for the ice cream. That means that nobody has a gun except them. Nobody is going to be shooting bullets in the other direction.

HALLIE JACKSON: President Trump there a week after the school shooting in Parkland, calling on schools to train and arm certain teachers. And now the Education Department is reportedly planning how to make that one step closer to reality. The New York Times says Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is now considering letting states use federal money to buy guns for their teachers. Look at this. This is a blockbuster headline, it would be a major change away from the government’s longstanding policy not to set up schools with weapons. Gabby Giffords, former Congresswoman and gun control advocate tweeted, “Arming teachers is not a solution. It recklessly puts American children in even more danger. We can forge a better path. It’s time for Americans to find the courage to fight for our own safety.” Joining me now is the reporter who broke that story, Erica Green, New York Times Education Correspondent, Anna and Yamiche are here as well. Erica, that’s quite the story. And I appreciate you coming on to talk about it. The Department of Education has now come out to NBC with a new statement, saying “the department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety. The secretary nor the department issues opinions on hypothetical scenarios.” You reported this. Is this hypothetical, how real is it that the Department of Education could start spending taxpayer money on giving guns to teachers?

ERICA GREEN: Well, it’s very real. I mean, the law allows for it and that, you know, the federal education law, particularly this grant and this pot of money, has no restrictions on purchasing firearms. Whereas in other grants that allow for school safety measures, there are express prohibitions on purchasing firearms and weapons. So that’s exactly why the Department is considering whether or not it’s legal, whether or not it’s in its purview.

JACKSON: You also, so you talk about, as part of this, the idea that they would use this pot of money, right, from the Every Student Succeeds ad, it’s about a billion dollars and it’s intended, you say, for academic and enrichment opportunities in the country’s poorest schools and it calls for districts to use the money for three goals: “a well-rounded education, improving school conditions…and improving the use of technology.” And it looks like they are trying to say, well, we’re going to improve school conditions and that’s kind of planning point that they are at.

GREEN: Right. So they felt that, you know, improving the school environments, physical infrastructure, all fell into that pot, that it was not unreasonable to expect that schools might want to use the money for school safety initiatives. You know, what they are considering is, you know, the big question here is whether or not arming staff improves school conditions and I think that’s the controversy around this.

JACKSON: And already, Anna, you cover congress. We are seeing congress react. Senator Murphy, just this morning, after your reporting Erica, responding to it is saying he is introducing now an amendment that would emphasize the idea that Congress is barring federal money from being spent on guns for teachers.

ANNA PALMER: There is no appetite on Capitol Hill for this. And clearly, Senator Murphy is an advocate on this issue and you’re going to see him; I would imagine a lot of other Democrats come out. But this is not the issue going into the midterms, I think, that Republicans want to be talking about either.

JACKSON: And Erica, you know this really well and I want to talk about this a bit more because when you look at some of the polling numbers, 56 percent of Americans are against arming school teachers. But I want to talk about what DeVos, Secretary DeVos has been doing. Because sometimes that does fly under the radar, right? A segment we do here on the show, she, for example, has lifted regulatory scrutiny of predatory for profit colleges, you reported she’s begun dismissing civil rights cases in the name of efficiency. She’s proposing rules that would cut student loan relief by an estimated $13 billion and Axios claims that the Education Department is ignoring mistreatment of transgender students. Where is our Federal education system going under Secretary DeVos and the Trump administration, Yamiche? Erica?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: I mean, I think that the one thing that’s very interesting is that Secretary DeVos is someone who was very controversial when she was coming in. She’s someone who had a very opinionated view of how the federal education system should be run and now, she’s carrying this out in a very quiet way. She’s doing, much like Jeff Sessions, they’re doing what they said they were going to be doing and there are some people that I’ve talked to, some advocates, who are very worried about the racial impacts that this will have. You look at Erica’s reporting, if you start arming teachers, and you look at the statistics and see that there are black and brown students who are being… who are being disciplined more than their white counterparts, you can then start seeing statistics where potentially black students are getting shot or in accidents when their teachers are trying to shoot or trying to do gun safety measures. So there’s this idea that the NAACP and other advocacy groups say not only are we looking at this as an issue issue but it’s also an idea that racially it’s going to be a problem.

HALLIE JACKSON: Erica Green, the reporter who broke that story, thank you so much for coming on the show. I’m going to ask you two to stick around.

Education MSNBC MSNBC Live Hallie Jackson Yamiche Alcindor Betsy DeVos
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