Some Democratic senators are expressing concern for Education Secretary Betsy Devos’ proposal to use federal dollars to arm teachers.

“Everybody laughed when in her confirmation hearing she said to me that she thought teachers needed to be armed against potential grizzly bears… as it turns out, she wasn’t joking,” Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said.

He thinks the proposal is a terrible idea. 

“If more guns made a place safer, then America would be the safest place in the world. We’re not,” he added.

Related Content: Connecticut senators speak out against arming teachers

Senator Murphy introduced an amendment to block the Department of Education from allowing school districts to use Title 4 or federal funds to purchase firearms for teachers, but Senate Republicans blocked the vote.

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander said states get to choose how they use the money.

 “I am not a fan of arming teachers…As I read the law, Title 4 specifically gives states the decision about spending their money…to create safe conditions including drug and violence prevention,” he said.

But Democrats argue that is not what the money is for.

Related Content: Education Dept. proposals on guns in schools sparks outcry

“The Title 4a program was intended to be used for purposes like helping more children get access to mental health care, or providing additional programming in STEM or the arts, not for purchasing weapons,” stated Senator Patty Murray of Washington.

“The research is very clear that these types of increased police presence and gun presence in our schools is not just counterintuitive in terms of creating a safe and healthy learning environment, but our students don’t want it,” said Brenda Shum with the The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Shum stated that having guns in schools undermines students rights to attend a safe learning environment.