Betsy DeVos deserves an F in education policy


Anna Parra Jordan

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has a long history of failing to recognize and protect the rights of American students, including transgender students and sexual assault survivors. Her next target seems to be Black and Latinx students, as her department plans to rescind Obama-era guidelines that intended to reduce racial discrimination in school discipline.

During his tenure, former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan highlighted stark racial disparities in school suspension and expulsion, revealing that Black and Latinx students were being suspended at least three times more than their white counterparts, and being punished more severely for similar misdeeds.

It made sense that he then called for more rigorous civil-rights enforcement in education in an effort to dispel these clear racial disparities. But on brand, DeVos has eliminated the guidance which ensured that students of color would not be subject to harsher disciplinary practices.

Not only is this illogical considering the evidence proving the racial discrimination faced by young Black and Latinx students nationwide, but DeVos has made it clear that she has no legitimate reason for eliminating these policies. DeVos reasoned the elimination by drawing connections between school shootings and the civil rights protections of students of color, which makes no sense, especially considering the overwhelming majority of school shooters are not of color.

Furthermore, when questioned by U.S. Representative Barbara Lee on the rescission, DeVos said that “any student being disciplined differently because of his or her color or race is not acceptable,” yet she eliminated the very policies that corrected this problem and failed to provide new ones.

It is obvious that this elimination is part of a pattern by the Trump administration to place unqualified individuals in incredible positions of power and then not bat an eye when these incompetent individuals hurt innocent Americans. Betsy DeVos has proved once again that she is completely unconcerned with the rights and well-being of young minority students who deserve to be protected under her guidance.

If it weren’t for the horrors of the Trump administration, it would be surprising that no one is talking about this civil rights rescission that will virtually only affect Black and Latinx students. But this level of disrespect and disregard for minority groups has become tolerated and commonplace in the past few years. This has to change.

It is unacceptable that we stand by and watch our classmates of color be harmed by a person and administration who clearly does not care. We, as a community, have to voice our disapproval of this rescission and show that we will stand by our Black and Latinx peers, and anyone else who DeVos tries to harm. •