Concerned citizens take formal stand against Betsy DeVos

Photo: Adam Keller, UniServ District 2 Director; Huntsville Education Association Office

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Tuesday morning, a coalition of former teachers and concerned citizens joined some Huntsville Education Association and Alabama Education Association members in taking a petition bearing more than a thousand signatures to Sen. Richard Shelby’s office.

The petition, according to UniServ District 2 Director Adam Keller, urged Shelby to reject Betsy DeVos’ nomination for U.S. Secretary of Education.

“We are disturbed at her profound lack of experience, knowledge and qualification to serve in this role. We are very concerned about her numerous conflicts of interests. Betsy DeVos is a billionaire who has spent tremendous amounts of money to fight against the goal of excellent and equitable public education for all students,” Keller stated in a release to WHNT News 19.

Keller said they also left opposition statements from NEA, NAACP, members of the evangelical community, and Republican educators with the Senator’s office.

Keller also said he was the only one of the group that was allowed to enter Shelby’s office. The rest, he said, were told to stay outside. He said staff members explained to him that Sen. Shelby was still reviewing the nomination.

“We asked if Sen. Shelby can hold a town-hall event for North Alabama constituents but we were told he has no plans for that at this time,” Keller stated.

“We and thousands of Alabamians believe that our public schools deserve a leader who is qualified and committed to their success, rather than an unqualified billionaire who is determined to destroy our public schools. We urge Senator Shelby to vote “NO” on Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary. And we urge the Senator to hold a town hall next month so that parents and educators in North Alabama may share their views with Senator Shelby,” he explained in an earlier email to WHNT News 19.

An earlier version of this story indicated that the Huntsville Education Association was responsible for the petition. We have since learned that it was a group of concerned citizens, which included HEA members.