President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence announced on Tuesday that they will reopen schools across the country for the holiday period.
In a joint statement, the two presidents said they would open schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The announcement comes as the Trump administration is trying to re-open schools following a string of outbreaks of school violence, particularly in the Chicago school system, and as lawmakers continue to debate the federal government’s role in keeping schools safe.
“We are all committed to working with states, local communities, and parents to make sure that students can return to school on time and safely,” Pence said.
President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., November 21, 2021.
Trump’s announcement comes after Democrats criticized the move as the president failing to act on the threat of school shootings.
At a news conference on Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the administration had been “overwhelmed” by calls for the schools to be reopened.
“There is no reason why schools should be closed for the holidays,” Pelosi said.
“It’s time for President Trump and the White Houses Department of Education to put on their best face and do the right thing.”
We need more schools closed.
We need more safety measures put in place.
“Trump also said he was not interested in putting schools on lockdown in order to get rid of the problem.”
I’m not interested,” he said.