On Thursday, March 7, 2018, US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos paid a visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the scene of a mass shooting on February 14, 2018. While she was there, she spoke first with Ty Thompson, Principal, Assistant Principal Denise Reed, office staff, and guidance counselors. In the media center, she met with a few students, district representatives, and grief counselors.
Student Kyra Parrow asked Ms DeVos what plans she had to prevent future such incidents. The Secretary replied that her agenda was to make sure students all over the country were able to conduct their studies in a safe environment. She promised to implement solutions that were appropriate to the surroundings.
Honoring the Victims
After being led to the building where the tragedy occurred, DeVos laid a wreath along the fence surrounding the building to honor the victims of the shooting. Rather than speak to the student body as a whole, Secretary DeVos chose instead a more intimate approach and met with small groups of students at a time, offering her comfort and condolences. According to Principal Thompson, the purpose of the visit was to allow Ms DeVos an opportunity to thank the staff, experience the atmosphere, and understand what was really going on on campus. The secretary spent one hour at the school before moving on to a press conference at the Marriott Hotel.
Many students felt honored that the education secretary had taken time out of her busy schedule to come out and meet them. Other students would have liked her to have spent more time answering questions.