Three weeks after a mass shooter took the lives of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited the Parkland, Florida school.
DeVos briefly went to the school and has been met with criticism following her abrupt visit, according to the Huffington Post.
The visit was closed to the media. DeVos reportedly fielded only a handful of questions at a news conference afterward but was not specific as to her thoughts on deterring future gun violence, and abruptly left.
"I just had a very sobering and very inspiring visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School," she said at the news conference, according to The Daily Beast. On her Twitter account, she added, "Today’s visit was very sobering but also inspiring. We are committed to continuing our work to find solutions so that no student or parent has to go through what this community has had to endure. We are committed not only to listening, but acting."
Students from Parkland and critics took to social media to share their dismay over the visit.
"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?," tweeted Aly Sheehy.
"Betsy Devos came to my school, talked to three people, and pet a dog. This is incase [sic] the press tries to say something else later," added another Twitter user who also described herself as a Parkland student.
Parkland students have been extremely vocal following the mass shooting, calling to the government for tighter gun laws. They are prepping for March For Our Lives, a rally in Washington, D.C. expected to draw crowds as big as 500,000, on March 24. The other protest, National School Walkout, is being organized by the group who shaped the Women's March and is slated for March 14. As the organizer shares, "Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10am across every time zone on March 14, 2018 to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods."