|Betsy DeVos and Rep. Mark Pocan
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continues to be a simply hideous person.
There are many, many reasons, but here’s just a few via the Human Rights Campaign:
Within days of taking office, she revoked the Obama-era guidance on protections for transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
In 2017, she withdrewTitle IX guidance on addressing sexual harassment in schools (including sexual violence) which affects LGBTQ kids disproportionately.
As chair of the Federal Commission on School Safety, she recommended rescinding nondiscriminatory school discipline guidanceprotecting students of color.
The list goes on and on.
This week, while answering questions about the Trump administration’s education budget, she was unable to give a straight answer to a question on whether or not she feels it’s okay for LGBTQ students to be discriminated against.
This isn’t really hard, you know…
Following up a question on school suspensions, openly gay Rep. Mark Pocan asked her, “Do you think it’s alright for a school to discriminate based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity?”
DeVos’ word-salad of an answer went like this:
“Um, we have laws that cover discriminatory efforts, and, um, our office for civil rights has continued to be very diligent in investigating any allegation of, um, discrimination and will continue to do so,” she stammered.
“So is that a yes or is that a no?,” asked Pocan. “I’m trying to get a yes or no, I guess, on that.”
Pocan also touched on DeVos’ continued support for charter schools even though 25% of her beloved charter schools are failing.
Insert more word salad here…
When Pocan asked about proposed cuts to the tune of $17.6 million from the Special Olympics(which gives people with intellectual challenges the opportunity to compete in athletic contests), DeVos was flummoxed yet again.
Pocan inquired how many students those cuts would affect.
“We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget,” the secretary sputtered.
“How many kids?”
“I don’t know the number of kids…”
“Two hundred and seventy-two thousand – no problem, I’ll answer it for you,” said Pocan.
After running down more and more cuts to education for challenged students (including his two nephews with autism), the congressman kept trying to get an answer as to why so many programs for these students are being cut.
You got it – more word salad.
Devos would deflect, Pocan would readdress the question and topic at hand.
Credit the congressman for being tenacious.
Pocan wrapped up with a question as to how, when cutting 12% across the board from education budgets she could justify a 15% INCREASE for ‘executive salary appropriations?’
In the end, the super-wealthy DeVos weaved, dodged and changed subjects until Pocan’s time ran out.