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Protests Against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Decry School Privatization

HeadlineSep 29, 2017

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, hundreds of protesters gathered Thursday outside a Harvard University forum where Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was delivering a speech on school choice, while scores of students protested silently inside the event, raising their fists and unfurling banners reading “white supremacist” and “Our students are not 4 sale.” The protesters say they oppose DeVos’s efforts to privatize public schools and roll back civil rights and sexual violence protections for millions of students. This is Harvard graduate student Jeff Rousset confronting DeVos in a Q&A after her speech.

Jeff Rousset: “Hi. My name is Jeff Rousset. I’m a master in public administration student here at the Kennedy School. So, you’re a billionaire with lots and lots of investments. And the so-called school choice movement is a way to open the floodgates for corporate interests to make money off of the backs of students. How much do you expect your net worth to increase as a result of your policy choices? And what are your friends on Wall Street and the business world, like the Koch brothers, saying about the potential to get rich off the backs of students?”

DeVos fired back, “I have written lots of checks to give parents and students lots of options to go to the school of their choice. The balance on my income has gone very much the other way.” Joining the protest were sexual assault survivors opposed to a recent move by DeVos to roll back Obama-era rules on how universities investigate campus sex crimes.

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