Hey Betsy DeVos, you don't need a gun to get a bear out of your school—just ask Bozeman

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The argument for allowing guns in school took a wild turn Tuesday on Capitol Hill when Trump's nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, raised the threat of... grizzly bears.

"Potential grizzlies," to be precise. That's how DeVos explained why states and local school districts—not the feds—should be able to decide whether teachers can pack heat. Pressed on the issue during her tense Senate confirmation hearing, DeVos referenced an elementary school in Wapiti, Wyoming that installed a fence around the playground to keep bears out. "I think probably there, I would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies," she said.
In this file photo, black bears hang out in the Rattlesnake. In Montana, they've been known to wander inside high schools, too. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BOB WIESNER
  • photo courtesy of Bob Wiesner
  • In this file photo, black bears hang out in the Rattlesnake. In Montana, they've been known to wander inside high schools, too.

Perhaps DeVos, like most Republicans, was a faithful viewer of The Colbert Report, whose host tirelessly raised awareness of grizzlies as "Godless killing machines" and "the number one threat to America." And in her defense, DeVos was referencing an earlier comment about the Wapiti fence made by Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi.

Montanans also know a thing or two about the threat bears can pose to our children's lives and ACT scores. Just ask the teachers at Bozeman High School, where a black bear wandered the halls last school year.


As the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported at the time, the beast found its way through an open garage door after being spotted on the football field. It then waltzed into a main corridor lined with student lockers. The paper reports:
For a couple of minutes, the bear sniffed around the hallway as about 10 students watched from one side and nervous staff members on the other.

The whole account is worth a read, but we'll cut to the chase. School officials and law enforcement didn't need a gun to ward off the God-hating bruin menace. They just opened all the doors.

More shameless clickbait: Watch a grizzly bear run an obstacle course around Wash-Griz Stadium.

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