President Donald Trump began the process of appointing members of his cabinet soon after he won the November election.
One of his most controversial nominations is Republican education activist and billionaire Betsy DeVos, whom Trump chose for Secretary of Education. Soon after the nomination, there was a rush to examine her experience in education, and in the end she had little.
Raised in one of the most affluent families in Michigan, DeVos attended high school at a private Christian school, then went to Calvin College, a small, private liberal arts school in Grand Rapids, Mich.
After majoring in political science and business administration, she dove head-first into politics, becoming a Republican National Committee woman for Michigan for five years and then a chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party for four years.
Here lies the problem we find with Trump nominating DeVos to be the Secretary of Education. Despite President Trump saying she is an excellent choice, she has no experience as a school teacher or administrator, and none of her kids have attended public school.
The only real experience she has in education is in political donation, where she funnels exorbitant amounts of money to School Choice programs. These programs provide private education alternatives to families who live in a public school district and don’t want to send their kids to public school.
Schools all across the nation will feel the backlash of her appointment to lead education efforts in the nation. During her confirmation hearing on Jan. 17, DeVos was questioned about her knowledge on federal education laws, such as the Individual Disabilities with Education Act (IDEA.) She responded saying the federal act was “a matter that’s best left to the states,” which many interpreted as lack of knowledge.
The biggest concern with her nomination, though, is she said she would support a Trump bill that would allow the abolishment of gun-free school zones. A bill of that nature would cause detrimental repercussions in public schools in Atlanta and would ultimately repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 that was signed by President George H. W. Bush.
By eliminating gun-free zones, Trump would be allowing anybody who has a permit to carry a gun on school properties, whether a college campus, high school campus, middle school campus, or even an elementary school campus.
Since Grady has already had a few gun-scares in its history, if DeVos and Trump pass this bill, we run the risk of having even worse happening on the Grady campus. Teachers and administrators would be allowed to carry guns on the campus, and anybody who visited would be able to carry as well.
As expected, security would become the most pressing issue, and there would have to be a more rigorous screening procedure implemented. This would create the need for an expanded budget to cover the costs of better screening technology and would overburden the school in the long run.
We stand in firm opposition of the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be the Secretary of Education. Her inexperience and lack of an open mind threatens to be the finishing blow for our already crumbling education system, and we, as members of a public school, think that we cannot be shut out from the discussions that will determine the future of the education system we are a part of.