White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that President Joe Biden doesn’t “believe in” hardening schools.
Jean-Pierre was asked by CNN’s White House correspondent Kaitlin Collins whether Biden believes mental illness and school safety is the real issue following the deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School.
“The president said yesterday that he believes Sen. McConnell is a rational Republican. Sen. McConnell said today that the group of lawmakers that are talking about guns in the wake of Uvalde are talking about the problem which is, quote, ‘mental illness and school safety,'” Collins said. “Does the president agree that that’s the problem here?”
“When the president said that, he believes that there are some rational Republicans in the Senate who can come together and work on a bipartisan bill, and Mitch McConnell is one of those folks. He does not believe, and we’ve talked about this, he’s talked about this, we are the only country that is dealing with gun violence at the rate that we’re dealing. Other countries have mental health issues, so what’s the problem here?” Jean-Pierre said, noting the problem is guns and that is Biden’s focus.
“I don’t know what he said specifically about schools, I know there’s been conversations about hardening schools, that is not something he believes in,” Jean-Pierre said. “He believes that we should be able to give teachers the resources to be able to do the job that they’re meant to do at schools. This is something that he’s been focusing on since he was the Vice President, so those are two things that he does not agree on but look, he thinks there’s a way for senators to come together … and that’s what he’s going to continue to call for.”
Republicans have called to “harden” schools in the wake of the Uvalde shooting, with former President Donald Trump saying Friday while at the National Rifle Association conference that the Republican Party is looking to “finally harden our schools and protect our children,” according to The Hill.
“What we need now is a top-to-bottom security overhaul at schools all across our country,” Trump reportedly said. (RELATED: Biden Claims 9mm Bullet ‘Blows The Lung Out Of The Body,’ Then Immediately Says ‘There’s No Rational Basis’ For High Caliber Weapons)
Among the proposals include one point of entry, fencing, metal detectors and armed security, according to The Hill.
A group of bipartisan senators have been discussing ways to make school safer, with Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy saying he is “open” to providing additional funds for school security, though Democrats maintain that arming teachers isn’t the solution, according to The Associated Press.