Three advocacy organizations—Democracy Forward, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Southern Poverty Law Center—are suing the Trump administration for failing to release records pertaining to its position on whether the Every Student Succeeds Act allows school districts to use federal funds to purchase firearms or train teachers to use them.
The organizations noted that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team have said they began mulling the issue after receiving requests for information from states and school districts, including in Oklahoma.
The first FOIA request, filed Aug. 27, sought records detailing the role the National Rifle Association and other gun rights lobbying group may have played in the Trump administration’s decision on the issue. DeVos has said the law allows districts to use money from a flexible ESSA block grant to buy guns, although she will not issue any additional guidance on the matter. The second FOIA request, filed Sept. 11, asked for information about which school districts wanted to arm teachers using federal funds. The department has 20 days to respond to FOIA requests, according to its website.
A version of this article appeared in the October 24, 2018 edition of Education Week as Groups Sue Trump Administration for Details of Requests to Arm Teachers