To our new U.S. education secretary, Betsy DeVos:

We, out here in the West, are overjoyed about your appointment as education secretary! When you testified to the Senate committee which examined your credentials that "guns were needed in schools to protect students from grizzly bears," we knew that you would be a great educational leader.

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At long last, we have someone who recognizes our most serious problem in education and hit the nail right on the head with a solution.

While we here in western Minnesota do not encounter grizzlies as often as they do further west, sightings are not that rare. A close friend leaving a saloon late at night on the north side of Detroit Lakes was pursued all the way to his home and was able to escape with his life only when his wife brandished a weapon in the direction of him (and the charging grizz). According to him, this was not the first time, either.

The next morning he took pictures of the tracks left in the snow. His next door neighbor suspected that they looked more like tracks of the Bigfoot be had seen the previous night. But, proof-positive is lacking. Either way, it is a dangerous situation!!! As you may well expect, the dishonest media did not report this. Sad!

A friend of mine from out West (Moorhead) related to me that he has trouble sleeping at night fearing that grizzlies may cross the frozen Red River of the North during the night and attack him, his wife, or their stash of supplies and whiskey buried out in his yard.

Further out west in Dakota Territory, sightings are far more common. Only recently (this past week) near Mandan, a cavalry outpost, a posse was about to hang a notorious rustler. They had just strung him up, when out of nowhere a horrible grizzly attacked. They rode off leaving the poor rustler hanging and the grizzly in complete control of the proceedings. This was not reported by the media either. Sad!

Only yesterday, a relative out in Montana reported that huge bands of marauding grizzlies (not the musical kind either) were making it dangerous for children to attend their one room schools. Local ranchers need to escort their children to school to ensure there are no ambushes by these ferocious beasts. If teachers and students are not armed, who will protect them from menacing bears when the ranchers go back to their ranches?

This is not just an educational issue either! In western North Dakota grizzlies have attacked wind farms, as well, devouring baby wind turbines before they can grow up and defend themselves. The cost is tremendous to raise these turbines to maturity, and when they are destroyed before they can reproduce, it is true disaster! Please relate this to the Department of Agriculture!

Furthermore, what has not been reported at all ,"Sad! " is attacks by feral dogs (prairie) in which these vicious beasts leave their towns and advance on outposts around North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, making it dangerous for children, and their teachers to pursue educational endeavors

I am disappointed that the members of the committee who interviewed you did not even bring this up, but, I'm sure you would have addressed this problem competently. No matter what, guns will definitely discourage their attacks!

As a teacher for 33 years, I must admit that I have had only one incident involving grizzlies. A

student of mine who was walking to school was attacked by a ferocious bear (presumably a grizzly) which grabbed his bag lunch and his homework. The youth escaped, but as he ran off, be witnessed the beast devouring his baloney sandwich and his homework! I gave him credit for the homework and shared my bag lunch, also baloney, with him.

As you can readily see, we here out west are enthralled that Washington has finally recognized our true needs. As for me, I invite you to visit our area to see for yourself the dangerous plight we find ourselves in.

I would, personally, (for a modest fee) be willing to serve as a guide and armed guard to protect you from grizzly assaults. I, as well as other Westerners, know you have the stuff to make education safe for all!

-- Mostly sincere, Lorren Crawford, Detroit Lakes