In these hot political times, in this time of great unrest in this nation, many stakeholders in the American public education process shy away–some in fear, some in ignorance–from discussion of or taking a position on the very real impact of the election of Donald Trump to the office of president. There is no more political office than that of president. Make no mistake: Mr. Trump is absolutely a politician. To be apolitical in the current climate is to be either stupid or ignorant. There’s no cure for stupid; ignorance, on the other hand, is fixable; the remedy is knowledge.
While it is all well and good to allow for a variety of political opinions in this great nation, and to listen to others’ views, to support a candidate who will say (and not in a locker room, but in a bus full of people, male and female) “Grab ’em by the pussy” is to show a gross lack of care for the children of this nation. This man is to be the leader of our country; this includes LEADING its children. He has ZERO experience in preparing for the job of the leading politician in the land. Zero experience with working with fellow politicians in the other branches of government. He is a misogynist and bigot; he publicly mocked a man with a disability. It strikes me as stunning that people who voted for him seem surprised that he has chosen as his nominee for Secretary of Education a woman with zero experience with public education (unless she went to public elementary and/or junior high; she attended private high schools and college–and she has never taught or held a degree in education). Her children have never attended public school, either. Why would people expect Trump to choose somebody with experience when he has none himself?
Trump has openly expressed a very Trumpesque drive to cut entitlement programs. Public education is the biggest entitlement program in the country. Yes, it is free. Education. For all children in the country. But, it isn’t a Constitutional right (and some of those are on the Trump chopping-block as well), so don’t be at all surprised if he and his new nominee have their way and education becomes privatized. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they try to take away the entitlement, itself, and make it for-pay. To say nothing of the programs and laws in place to protect the kind of individuals Trump openly mocks; individuals with disabilities.
If you’ve shied away from discussing these things because they are “political” pull your head out of the sand and get busy working to protect your children from the ignorant, vile, disgusting leader-elect. A man guilty of the things we have seen this man do will not be out to protect the children, much less those cited by Lady Liberty in her harbor: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” That’s immigrants, people. The children of those immigrants. It’s time to get political. Past time.