By Laura Podesta, abc7chicago.com
Betsy DeVos, the woman President-elect Donald Trump nominated to be U.S. Secretary of Education, will be the target of protests Thursday in Chicago and across the country.
DeVos, a billionaire from Michigan, was selected to run the nation’s public school system. Her appointment was criticized by the Chicago Teachers Union.
Teachers said she supports the “racist policies and economic starvation our schools and public services have already endured” under the leadership of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool.
Thursday’s walk-in protests will start at the beginning of the school day at Boone Elementary in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood and a few other schools in the city.
At a confirmation hearing, senators grilled DeVos on whether she was qualified for the job – specifically to oversee the student loan program.
When asked whether she could definitively say that guns shouldn’t be allowed in schools, DeVos gave this response:
“Well, I will refer back to Senator Enzi and the school that he was talking about in Wapati, Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”
CTU and the Alliance to Protect Our Schools are taking part in Thursday’s demonstrations.
Some of the anger could also stem from the fact that on Friday, CPS teachers found out they will have four unpaid furlough days between now and the end of the year.
The decision was made in order to cut expenses, before the city tries to borrow more money.