Betsy DeVos's Appointment and the Fight for Equal Education
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Betsy DeVos's Appointment and the Fight for Equal Education

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Betsy DeVos's Appointment and the Fight for Equal Education
jdog90

The reason I am a graduate of American University is because of the passionate, inspiring teachers I had in my public high school in New Jersey. Teachers there not only encouraged open dialogue, diversity and progress through education for many students who the odds were stacked against, they took the time to really know my peers and me. They bought school supplies with their own money, put in the time after hours, and love their “kids” as if they were their own.

As someone who attended Catholic school until the eighth grade, I entered high school without knowing anyone and in a dark place. I came out as bisexual in the fourth grade, and things were not easy for me in the environment that I’m sure is Betsy DeVos’s paradise.

The teachers at my public high school loved me for who I was, and I flourished. My public high school prepared me not only for college, but taught me about loving people that look, love and pray differently than me. Public high schools in the United States hold the promise of diversity and equality, even when much of the rest of America has its odds already stacked against groups of people. And that’s all because of the teachers.

Betsy DeVos’s appointment as Secretary of Education hits me especially hard. My mom taught at the same high school I attended (you’d think this would be embarrassing, but she was actually much cooler than me so it was a non-issue) for twenty-five years. She spent countless amounts of her own money on her students, never ever leaves until at least an hour after the final bell rings, and has been a mentor to me since she and my dad were teaching me to read. She knows more about education than DeVos ever will, but her worth and that of her colleagues is reduced to almost nothing by a woman who has never even stepped foot in a public school classroom. People like my mom make a difference every day, and it breaks my heart that the most unqualified people can make decisions that devalue her contributions.

Not only does DeVos’s appointment show the spineless aristocracy our government balances upon, it is yet another example that Republicans do not care about the kids whose parents are the 98%. The only hope that keeps me going is educators like my mom. My mom not only taught me how to read; from a young age she taught me the importance of protest and standing up for what I believe in. The woman that marched in front of the British embassy because of its abuses of power against the Irish has passed the torch to me, and I don’t plan to disappoint. My mom is set to retire at the end of the school year, but her twenty-five years of service will not go to waste.

While Washington, DC may seem hopeless at the moment, there are many more Mary Howleys than Betsy DeVoses in the United States. My mom faced all sorts of challenges throughout her years as an educator. Nevertheless, she carried on and made the world a better place while doing it. So, Betsy, get ready for a busy four years because the millions of students like me will not let you take away our schools quietly.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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