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DeVos: School safety panel will have 4 Cabinet secretaries

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos waits to testify before a House Committee on Appropriation subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says a federal commission on school safety being formed in the aftermath of the tragic Florida school shooting will consist of her and three other Cabinet secretaries.

DeVos told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that the body will include the secretaries of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and the Justice Department. The commission will consider banning gun purchases for children under 21, among other things. DeVos would not say whether she herself supports that.

In a tense hearing, DeVos also defended states and communities’ rights to decide whether to arm their teachers.

She also faced hard questions on minority students being disciplined more frequently than their white peers. DeVos confirmed that she is reviewing an Obama-era rule addressing those disparities.