Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is almost as bad at making herself seem warm, human, and sympathetic as her boss is, a skill that was on full display during her much-publicized visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday. While DeVos doesn’t have Donald Trump’s record of grinning and giving a thumbs up in photos with survivors of horrible tragedy, what she did in Parkland isn’t a whole lot better: she made a big deal of going to the school but refused to interact with students other than representatives of school publications. “One student from each publication (tv prod./newspaper/yearbook) was able to see her and take pictures of her, no one followed her,” a student editor explained, saying:
I thought she would at least give us her “thoughts and prayers,” but she refused to even meet/speak with students. I don’t understand the point of her being here
— carly (@car_nove) March 7, 2018
She wasn’t the only one to object to DeVos using the school as a PR opportunity without talking to the students:
Do something unexpected: answer our questions. You came to our school just for publicity and avoided our questions for the 90 minutes you were actually here. How about you actually do your job? #neveragain #DoYourJob https://t.co/4Ts0INq0gR
— Aly SheehyÃ°ÂÂ¦Â (@Aly_Sheehy) March 7, 2018
Given that DeVos made headlines during her confirmation hearing last year with her suggestion that guns should be allowed in schools because of “potential grizzlies,” you can see where she wouldn’t have wanted to talk to any survivor-activists—any more than they wanted to talk to her. But did she really think she was going to get good publicity from going to their school and not talking to them?
Don’t worry, though! She told the student newspaper reporters that she’d “love to come back sometime in an appropriate amount of time and just sit down and talk with them.” Any bets on how long that “appropriate amount of time” will turn out to be?