So much nonsense had been spouted by Betsy DeVos - most famous was her discourse on the need for guns in schools due to the threat of grizzly bears in classrooms in Wapiti, Wyoming - that one would scarcely have expected from her the revelation of a higher nature.
And yet a few days ago Betsy DeVos proved the proverb that things are seldom what they seem; that what masquerades as skim milk can, in fact, contain a measure of cream.
This revelation came on the heels of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ ruling last week that transgender students would no longer have protection under the law to use school bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity; when told to sign off on this order rolling back the civil rights of these students, Betsy DeVos said, “No.” The Education Secretary, whose compliance was required for the ruling to be passed, refused to agree to it. And though Jeff Sessions continued to push and pressure her, Betsy DeVos would not to relent, but rather continued to stand up for rights for transgender students even though it meant going against her Party’s line and incurring the wrath of the ruling powers that be.
And for this courageous, strong-backboned stand against Jeff Sessions for the sake of the most oppressed and vulnerable young people I give Betsy DeVos credit. I even would have been willing to give her a chance as Education Secretary, to withhold further judgement, to wait and see if Ms. DeVos was perhaps possessed of more wisdom than I’d realized.
But in the end Betsy DeVos’s one-woman campaign for the protection and welfare of transgender students failed. Jeff Sessions, infuriated with Betsy DeVos, ran crying to Donald Trump, who called his Education Secretary into the Oval Office and told her to drop her opposition to Sessions' ruling or resign.
And so, faced with going along with something she knew was wrong or losing her job, Betsy DeVos went along. She gave in, publicly conceded, in effect, that it’s up to the individual States to decide whether transgender students should be granted or denied their civil rights. According to The New York Times the Education Secretary was reduced to releasing a statement in which she concurred with the White House and Justice Department that bathroom access is not a Federal matter, but added that “she considered it a ‘moral obligation’ for every school in America to protect all students from discrimination, bullying and harassment.”
Valiant try, Secretary DeVos, but you should have known it would come to nothing. You should have known to whom you sold your soul when you signed on to the confederation of vipers now occupying the White House.