How to Fight Back With Betsy DeVos in Charge of the Department of Education

Empty desks. Photo Credit: Robert Couse-Baker (

Last week, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the next Secretary of Education.
You heard that right. An unqualified profiteer with a record of opposing civil rights for students will now be in charge of promoting equal opportunity in education.
And it sucks. No if, ands, or buts. It really sucks.

But here’s the thing: DeVos’ confirmation was historic, not just because of who she is, but because of the outrage it prompted from communities around the country. People were NOT having her. In Kansas, Colorado, and Alaska, among other places,  students, parents, educators, and everyday citizens took to the streets to oppose DeVos. Because of their work, two Republican senators broke from the party and withdrew support from DeVos. The result? For the first time in history, a vice president had to vote in a cabinet confirmation to break a 50-50 tie.
DeVos’ incompetence and hostility toward civil rights gave birth to a movement. Thanks to her, millions of people are ready to fight to protect public schools and the students who depend on them. We’re entering a time of increased scrutiny, surveillance, and threats for students of color, immigrants, LGBTQ students, and undocumented students. It’s our job to join together and make sure civil rights are enforced and expanded, not ignored or rolled back. And we need to do this at the local and federal levels. We need to keep mobilizing. We need to keep making noise. We’ve got a platform. We need to use it.
Not sure where to start?
Here are three ways to fight back under a DeVos administration.
Step 1: Stay Informed
Set up a Department of Education google alert. Read the news. Sign up for our lists. Make sure you’re tracking major threats to students and families.
Step 2: Keep the Pressure on Your Elected Officials
Call them. Jam their phone lines. Send letters. Go to your members’ town halls. Bring everyone you know. Make noise. Push them to take action. They need to keep DeVos in check. Hold them accountable to you and your community.
Step 3: Get Involved at the Local Level
Grab a group of friends and go to your next school board meeting. Ask the board members how they plan on protecting students’ civil rights. If you see or hear of students being targeted or harassed, contact us.
Need inspiration? Check out the parents and teachers in North Carolina who are demanding protections for undocumented students.
Bottom line?
DeVos works for us now. The power to stop her extreme agenda is in our hands.
The resistance starts NOW.