One of President Donald Trump’s most egregious lies during campaign 2016 was that he would build a wall protecting America from “illegal immigration,” then would get the Mexican government to pay for it. It’s not clear if Trump was watching Fox News, Pacific Rim or Attack on Titan when he came up with the wall idea, but it, along with most of his policies, has inspired only activism and resistance from commonsense Americans who have better ideas.
Because it’s a day that ends in “y,” there was another protest Monday against this administration and its policies by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. Their “Schools Not Walls” campaign will focus on the budgetary concerns that American public schools have and how Trump’s dual-pronged approach of deportation mixed with decreased school funding hurts everyone.
“We need to make strong investments in our public schools, places where all students are welcomed and loved,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), from Michigan’s 12th District. “Sadly, we have seen the failed policies of Betsy DeVos in effect [in] Michigan. This campaign is about investing in early-childhood education, teacher training and after-school programs. The Trump budget slashes funding and sends our nation backward. This campaign is about fighting tooth and nail to block any policy that will hurt our students or their families.”
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is, of course, an easy target for education advocates. If Hollywood were casting Bad Teacher 2: Trump Edition, she’d definitely have a role. (Not as an actual teacher, though, because she has no experience in that.) Michigan teachers know what she is capable and not capable of, but the movement is bigger than just DeVos.
On Monday, more than 200 schools across America held meetings, protests and public actions to denounce the diversion of education funds into immigration and racialized pet projects of this administration. Check out the Alliance to Save Our Schools to see if your children’s school participates. If it didn’t, never fear; you can strike a blow for justice from the comfort of your laptop. The site has a petition that can be signed for a letter to all of Congress about school-funding issues.
Public education is literally one of the last remaining vestiges of a public safety net that provides not just education but food and sometimes basic health care to children across America, especially poor kids. Don’t let Trump’s new “really difficult job” keep you from holding him accountable; he’s still the president. Get out, get involved and make some noise. We have over a thousand days of this left; might as well get used to fighting for the very things we once considered basic.