They want a variety of things. They want solutions.
Stahl: "They want gun control."
DeVos: "They want a variety of things. They want solutions."
Stahl didn't let DeVos off easy here. The students organizing the March for Our Lives are clear in what they're calling for: "The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues." But, as Republicans have continuously done, DeVos is steering the conversation toward anything but sensible gun restrictions.
Schools are made up of individual students attending them.
DeVos: "I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them."
Since DeVos isn't willing to talk about structural problems in schools, we will: Michigan schools rank abysmally low when it comes to test scores, and the growth of charter schools has seemed to weaken public schools. A 2016 New York Times investigation found that Detroit's huge, chaotic charter-school system has left students with "lots of choice, with no good choice." Also: "Schools are made up of individual students attending them?" Really?
We need to ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn in a safe and nurturing environment.
DeVos: "We are studying that rule. We need to ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn in a safe and nurturing environment. And all students means all students."
That "safe and nurturing environment" line is insulting when you consider that the administration is looking to make school less "safe and nurturing" for students of color. Stahl pushed back and said, "Yeah, but let's say there's a disruption in the classroom and a bunch of white kids are disruptive and they get punished, you know, go see the principal, but the Black kids are, you know, they call in the cops. I mean, that's the issue: who and how the kids who disrupt are being punished."
DeVos responded that discipline is based on individual cases.
[We] are committed to making sure students have opportunity to learn in safe and nurturing environments.
DeVos: "We're studying it carefully. And are committed to making sure students have opportunity to learn in safe and nurturing environments."
One sexual assault is one too many, and one falsely accused individual is one too many.
Stahl: "Are you in any way, do you think, suggesting that the number of false accusations are as high as the number of actual rapes or assaults?"
DeVos: "Well, one sexual assault is one too many, and one falsely accused individual is one too many."
Stahl: "Yeah, but are they the same?"
DeVos: "I don't know. I don't know. But I'm committed to a process that's fair for everyone involved."
Given the very low number of false sexual assault accusations, it's unconscionable to loosen these regulations — and then not even answer a simple, factually based question. Being the Secretary of Education, DeVos needs to come up with a clearer answer on this, and pretty much everything else.