Hello lovelies! Welcome back for a long overdue Wildflower Friday (even though it’s technically Saturday right now)! If the title didn’t warn you enough, this post is going to be very political and very opinionated. I’ve thought long and hard about what I would say when I wrote this post, and at this point, I have no choice but to write it. So, grab a cup of tea and a snack and let’s go.
I have been devastated since election day last year. In truth, I’ve been devastated since Donald Trump entered the race for president, but on November 8th last year, my heart actually broke. To live in a country where a man like Donald Trump can actually get elected to be “my leader,” even if he only won because of some archaic system, is something I still cannot comprehend.
Every day, with every new headline, it baffles me that ANYONE could have ever willingly looked at this man and thought, yeah, he’d be a great president and I stand behind him.
Donald Trump is not a good person. He is unintelligent, unstable, sexist, xenophobic, narcissistic, erratic, unsound, dangerous, disgusting, perverted, racist, ignorant, and completely unfit to run this country, or any other country out there. He knows nothing of politics or how our government actually works. He is the epitome of everything that is wrong with this world and it breaks my heart that there are enough people out there who are either just like him or willing to overlook these qualities in him.
If you’ve made it this far into this post, then I know you know all of that. You have already seen him do HORRIBLE things and promise to do even more horrible things. You’ve seen him dodge and get defensive about the simplest of questions posed from the media. You’ve seen him appoint the most uneducated and ignorant people in this country to EXTREMELY important jobs that they are not by any means qualified for. You know the kind of person he is and the kind of people he surrounds himself with and you know that our country is now headed to a kind of hell that is going to take A LONG TIME to get out of.
And with all that in mind, since my heart broke on November 8th, I have been hoping that Donald Trump would be a good president. Because, what he and his team and his party do in the next 4 years, will affect us for a long time. I hoped he would make good choices and do great things. But he hasn’t and it’s clear to see that nothing that happens under his administration will ever be great.
He couldn’t even try to make America great again because it never was great.
We are a fledgling country, one of the youngest in the world and somehow we are still fighting in the big leagues. This country is RIDDLED with issues, in our government and how it’s run and definitely in the very framework of our society. This country was built upon thievery and genocide and enslavement and whether you like it or not, those ideals are still what runs the very infrastructure of this country. This society is messed up and we cannot afford to take these backward steps like we are right now.
I am writing this post now, and not last month and not in 3 months because of what has happened most recently. And I’m sure I’ll write more posts like this as more things get overturned and new policies get created. But, I’m specifically writing this post now because of the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education and because of Trump’s great idea to overturn the policy that protects transgender students’ rights to use the gendered bathroom that they identify with.
Let me start with DeVos. If any of you reading this don’t know, I’ms student teaching this semester. Hopefully by September, I will be a full-time teacher with my own classroom and my own students to foster and learn and help grow. So anything having to do with education, or youth, or really any social issue is going to impact me on a very personal level.
The education system in this country needed someone who was going to replant it and help it grow. What we got instead was a highly inexperienced farmer who doesn’t know the difference between soil and a seed.
This woman knows NOTHING about what happens in public education and is blind to all of its merits. She has no idea what it’s even like to have to go to public school, to not have private schools be an option. All she wants or cares about is pretty much privatizing education and making it a business, just like they’re doing with our jails now.
Charter schools and private schools, her education options of choice, have their own merits. Anywhere a child can go to grow and learn and get a quality education is a place worth having, but that happens in public schools every day. With teachers who get paid livable salaries.
Charter schools and public schools cannot pay their teachers what they deserve or need and that is completely unfair. Teachers are the reason children can grow up to become our future, it is the most noble and important profession in the entire world, and the people doing it deserve to be paid as such.
Instead, she would rather take taxpayer’s money and use it toward creating another business. I guarantee you anything she does with education over the next 4 years won’t have anything to do with the needs of children in mind. Nothing will be done to help give public schools more resources or to dig schools without enough money out of the holes the government has let them sink into. Nothing will be done to protect the rights of my students. Nothing will be done to the way teachers are evaluated or how schools are evaluated. Nothing will be done about how resources are split unevenly. Nothing will get done about useless standardized tests and Pearson. Nothing will get done about arts education and how incredibly important it is. Nothing will get done about the need for comprehensive and accurate sex ed in schools. Instead of worrying about the lives and the minds of every child in this student, Betsy DeVos will think of how best to make money. Because that’s what she does. She’s a business woman, not an advocate for education or children.
She doesn’t understand that public schools need to exist or millions of children will not eat. Public schools need to exist or else millions of children are living in homes without any support or stability. Public schools need to exist because there are children who don’t have heat at home or who don’t have homes and need a place to be for as long as possible. She will never understand what public schools and a public education is all about.
And student loans? Forget about any assistance. We will all sink and drown in our debt and the prices of college will only go up. Less and less people will be able to go to college, less and less people will be able to pay back their loans, and the circle of poverty will not be broken.
I don’t want to be afraid for the future of my career and I don’t want to have to be afraid for the lives of my students, but the reality is that I and every other educator has to be.
Now onto Trump denying thousands of students their basic, human rights. The Obama administration passed a policy that made all schools receiving government funding allow transgender students to use the gendered bathroom that they identify with. Obama, gave students a basic human right that they had been denied just by being who they are, and Trump took it away without a second thought.
If transgender students, my students, cannot use the bathroom, they cannot go to school. Plain and simple. It is a denial of a basic human right.No one should be meant to feel scared to be who they are. No one should have to be afraid to walk into a room and fulfill a basic human need.
In complete honesty, transgender students and transgender people have a lot more to be afraid of in the bathroom than the cisgender people who are trying to stop them from using the bathroom in the first place. It’s people like Donald Trump that we should be afraid of in the bathroom, not trans kids.
Now, students all over this country are no longer safe at school. If there is nowhere else for someone to feel safe, school should at least be a place. Schools are meant for students to have a place to grow into their potential. And students cannot do that if their lives are being threatened every time they need to use the bathroom.
Trump is not my president. He is not the president for anyone in a public schools and he sure as hell is not the president for transgender students or people. Anyone who could so easily ruin both the present and the future for public schools in the matter of a week is unfit to lead a country.
Please, if you are as upset as I am about what is happening in our country right now, TAKE ACTION. Contact your local and state government officials, sign petitions, protest, do anything and everything you can. One of the easiest ways right now to fight for the rights of transgender students is to text “CALL CONGRESS” to 30644 and HRC can get you in contact with your state representative.
There are dark times ahead my loves, but if we can all stick together and fight, we WILL make it through.
Love and light,