Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary, appeared before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for her confirmation hearing Jan. 17. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, declined to take a stand on whether guns belong in the nation’s schools while answering senators’ questions during her confirmation hearing Tuesday.

Decisions about firearms in schools should be left to local and state officials, DeVos said in response to a question from Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). DeVos pointed to a rural Wyoming school that is surrounded by a fence to keep bears out. “I would imagine there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies,” she said.

Murphy — an advocate for gun control whose constituents include parents who lost children in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 — asked whether DeVos would support Trump if he moves forward with his proposal, which he first made a year ago, to ban gun-free school zones.

DeVos said she would support “what the president-elect does,” and then added: “My heart bleeds and is broken for those families that have lost any individual due to gun violence.”