As the battle regarding public schools and the issues of transgender students continues to wage, Betsy DeVos found herself in a difficult position. She was caught between her beliefs about commitments to all children and the sentiment of her new boss, President Trump. The transgender issue crystallized during President Obama’s administration as an NC school refused to accommodate a transgender student using the opposite gender bathroom. Up until that time, each state-mandated public school’s stand on transgender policy. Obama changed the rules when he issued “guidance” that all states had to make accommodations for transgender individuals.
Many people, including now President Trump, felt that the Federal government had no business interfering in a state issue. Trump has prepared a statement that rescinds the need for states to follow the Obama guidelines as he proposes to turn the matter back over to state jurisdiction. While neither President issued an Executive Order about this issue, the guidance provided by the President is expected to be implemented.
DeVos was reported as being vocal about her disagreement with this move by the Administration. She is said to have met with Jeff Sessions and then ultimately with President Trump. Sources say that DeVos reminded Trump of their joint promise to the American people about protecting the rights of all school students. Her concern is that rescinding the Obama directive will place transgender children in the position of being bullied or facing discrimination.
In spite of DeVos’ obvious concerns with the new statement, Trump instructed her to sign off and get behind the new guidance. Betsy DeVos admitted that she was indeed in a difficult position, between her overriding commitments to the children and the sentiments of President Trump. No one wants to oppose their boss, but DeVos voiced her concerns publicly. While she has signed off on the President’s agenda, she has promised to be closely involved with every step of the process.
Betsy DeVos has long been a champion of Education from serving on the Foundation for Excellence in Schools and the Action Institute. Before her tenure as Secretary of Education, DeVos was a successful businesswoman and politician. She was the Chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1992-1997. DeVos and her husband created the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1989 and to date, they have donated over $139 million to various charity organizations such as the Center for Individual Rights and the Michigan Foundation for Traditional Values.
The transgender public school challenges promise to continue for a long time to come. DeVos, too, is determined to fulfill her promise that all children, no matter their differences will have the opportunity to receive a quality and equal education regardless. DeVos promises to continue to disagree with anything she thinks will prevent quality education for American students.
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