When did having knowledge and experience become a bad thing? When did we toss aside the value of an education? Does having money to throw at politicians mean more than being qualified to do a job? Donald Trump has nominated many people who have absolutely no business taking a cabinet position. A prime example is his pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.

She has never been a teacher, she doesn’t have a degree in education. She has never personally dealt with children on any level in an educational setting.

What she has done is advocate aggressively for private charter schools in Michigan. And her track record there is not one to tout.

Teaching our children, being responsible for the very foundation of their future is something that should not go to a candidate who has absolutely no experience in education. Propping up charter schools and turning them into businesses that are accountable to no one is not the type of qualification that I as a parent want for someone who is going to lead our nation’s education system.

My mother was a teacher. It defined who she was. Her passion for learning and for those who were placed in her hands was evident in the joy that she shared with all who encountered her. No kid was too challenging, no problem too big to take on with curiosity and determination. When she passed away, her kids who were now adults in their forties, came to her memorial service. She had made a difference in their lives. That is the kind of commitment and heart that I want in a person who takes on this job.

Betsy Devos is a billionaire who paid her way into her position. She has given millions of dollars to the Republicans, some of whom are sitting on the nomination committee.

Well, I have got news for them. My children’s future is not up for sale. I demand that whoever heads the education department is an educator, not a business woman who wants to put her Christian beliefs into our school system. It would not surprise me if she hadn’t heard of the separation of church and state as delineated by the First Amendment of the Constitution and articulated by Thomas Jefferson:

I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

My children also go to public schools. I am not an advocate for vouchers or any other means which might have the ability to effectively shut down public schools. I don’t want a Secretary of Education who might contemplate defunding public schools. I certainly don’t want a Secretary of Education who can’t answer basic questions about current conversations in the education community.

We deserve someone as Secretary of the Education who actually cares more about kids than the God-Almighty dollar, a person who keeps their religious dogma to themselves, who has read the Constitution, who has my child and every child’s best interest at heart.

Besty DeVos is not that person. She has no business being anywhere near the Department of Education.

What the hell has happened to a nation that used to care about our kids and put them first and not their own selfish interests for an unthinking “change” brought about by a pathological liar, sexist and racist xenophobe?

Can you tell I am angry? You bet your ass I am. My kids are my everything. This nation’s children are our everything and not a pawn in the Republican power game.

Betsy DeVos and any Republican who votes to confirm her nomination should be ashamed. God knows, I am disgusted.

-Jan Harrison


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