Turning anger into action sounds catchy, but it certainly is not easy.
As I sit down to write an editorial week after week, the first thing I want to do is express my anger; each week, our 45th president and his administration gives me something new that reignites my anger.
In previous weeks, I’ve decided to hold back, to try and give some general thoughts on how to deal with stress and frustrations amidst our current political climate.
But this week, I need to be blunt. I need to be specific.
On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Betsy DeVos, who according to The New York Times is a “wealthy Republican donor with almost no experience in public education”, was confirmed as the secretary of education.
The win was historic and difficult to achieve due to weeks of protesting back and forth within the Senate; with a 50-50 stalemate, Vice President Mike Pence cast his tiebreaking vote for DeVos, making him the first vice president to do so for a cabinet nomination.
Educators across the country have called into question DeVos’ ability to run the Department of Education partly due to the billionaire’s promotion of charter schools and vouchers.
Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned DeVos’ qualifications for the position by pointing out her lack of involvement with public schools throughout her lifetime, with neither of her children or herself having ever taken out a student loan.
During the small amount of time senators were given to question her, she continuously refused to answer whether or not she would hold charter schools and other public schools equally accountable.
With Ms. DeVos’ lack of basic understanding of education policy and contempt for public schooling, her appointment astounds me and infuriates me.
As someone who has had both public and private education, I understand the importance of having both options available to everyone. But the key to democracy is being able to provide education to all, not just to those who can afford it.
Goshen Community Schools, which values diversity, gave me educators who always went above and beyond to ensure I was receiving the best education possible. They also made that same education possible for every student in the community, despite harmful state education legislation in Indiana.
If someone as unqualified and privileged as Ms. DeVos can be appointed to the president’s cabinet, it makes me wonder how I can possibly put my anger and lack of hope into action.
The only way for us to keep fighting and to turn our anger into action is to continue educating ourselves, no matter how hard, sad or frustrating the news becomes.
Ignorance in the digital age is inexcusable; take the time to read the daily news from a source other than Snapchat, from multiple reliable sources. Educate yourself so you can help better inform those around you and do what you can to support education in your communities, because we sure aren’t going to get any help from DeVos.