On Wednesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited briefly with the students of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. She later told reporters she “was just there to be there, to be with them” during a press conference, but the students themselves — many of whom have become prominent national activists — called her out on Twitter for posturing. According to BuzzFeed, many of the students who attended DeVos’s meeting at the school, or spoke directly with her when given the chance, criticized her for what amounted to a publicity stunt.
“I thought she would at least give us her ‘thoughts and prayers,’ but she refused to even meet/speak with students,” wrote one. “I don’t understand the point of her being here.”
Others offered similar reviews of DeVos’s visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
According to CNN, DeVos was asked about a proposal to arm more teachers and administrative personnel at schools in order to protect students. “I think to say ‘arming teachers’ is over-simplification and a mischaracterization, really,” she said. “I think that the concept is to, for those schools and those communities that opt to do this… to have people who are experts in being able to defend and having lots and lots of training to do so.” Even so, the reporters gathered at the press conference kept pressing her, resulting in DeVos’s walking out from the event after the questions.