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To Betsy DeVos, From a Public School Educator and Mom

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Dear Ms. DeVos,

My husband and I are public school educators of 12 years. Our son will soon be turning 3 and entering the public school system. I have watched the hearings where you seemed not to understand questions being asked. I have watched the hearings where you felt the rights of students were “best left to the states.” I am disappointed that the person in charge of our education system has no comments or in my opinion no appropriate comments for the important questions asked of her.

The words written by our forefathers in the Declaration of Independence are the same rights you feel are “best left up to the states.” They stated “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” All people, not just some people, and it should be taken very seriously.

The fight, Ms. DeVos, does not end with your confirmation. The fight for my son, who happens to have Down syndrome, to have an equal and appropriate education with his peers, no strings attached, will not be infringed upon. The fight for all my students to receive the same education will not cease. I refer to all students as “my” in this sentence because it is the responsibility of our nation to educate every individual, regardless of status. This is what highly qualified teachers believe; do you believe the same or is that matter best left up to the states as well?

Although I do not have millions of dollars to help my cause and be elected into a position where I can benefit these people, I will not be silenced. I will be standing with the other teachers, parents and grandparents, fighting for what’s right for all children. We will respectfully demand that our voices, the educators and parents who work tirelessly to help the future generations of this country, are heard. I beg that you listen to us. We have dedicated our lives to the education of children. We are passionate about it. We will do what it takes to ensure the promise of a brighter future. I sincerely ask, will you?

I anxiously wait to see what our future in education holds and look forward to your response.

Larkin O’Leary
a.k.a James’s mom
a.k.a Mrs. O’Leary

Editor’s note: This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.

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Photo source: C-SPAN video

Originally published: February 8, 2017
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