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Obama education secretary calls for parents to pull kids out of school until gun laws change

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Former Obama Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for parents to pull their kids out of schools until gun laws are changed. Duncan said his goal is to stir the pot enough to get politicians to act on stricter gun control laws. (Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who served in the Obama administration, asked parents to pull their children out of school in protest until gun laws are changed, according to the Washington Post.

Duncan's tweet came Friday afternoon, hours after 10 people were shot and killed by a student at Santa Fe High School in Texas.

"What if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe?" Duncan wrote on Twitter. "My family is all in if we can do this at scale. Parents, will you please join us?"

What's the story?

Duncan was responding to a tweet by another former Obama Education Department employee, former Assistant Secretary of Education Peter Cunningham.

"Maybe it's time for America's 50 million school parents to simply pull their kids out of school until we have better gun laws," Cunningham tweeted Friday morning in response to the breaking news report of an active shooter at the high school.

'Wildly impractical'

Duncan went on to clarify his remarks some over the weekend, acknowledging how unlikely it is that an effort to pull millions of children out of school would succeed.

"It's wildly impractical and difficult," Duncan said. "But I think it's wildly impractical and difficult that kids are shot when they are sent to school."

"I'm open to other ideas, I'm open to different ideas, but I'm not open to doing nothing," he continued. "We will see whether this gains traction, or something does, but we have to think radically."

Some in the education community expressed support for the boycott, but it's not clear what, if any, action supporters will take, or how much support for the boycott is needed before anyone actually does it.

Duncan said his goal is to stir the pot enough, even if it takes a radical idea, to get politicians to act on stricter gun control laws.

"This is not rocket science," Duncan said, according to the Post. "This is not a difficult intellectual issue. What we have lacked is political courage, and we need to create the tension that allows us to break through on this issue."

The proposal of a full boycott of schools is an attempted escalation of the walkout protests that followed the mass murder at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February, during which students left school for brief periods of time during the day to protest for gun control.

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