Betsy DeVos called me. I sent her this letter

UPDATE: Back in February, I sent a letter to Betsy DeVos, saying that our members and I are demanding answers from her about how she plans to ensure educational opportunity for every student.

Today I am renewing my call for Betsy DeVos to clearly and satisfactorily answer our questions on the critical work of the federal Department of Education. And I am renewing my call for you to add your name.

Read my letter to Betsy DeVos below, and add your name to our call for answers.


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called me the other day saying we should talk. But this seems premature. I’m still struck by the lack of clear answers she gave the public at her Senate hearing.

There is no doubt where we stand on issues critical to supporting students and public education, but Americans have a right to know where she stands.

So I sent her a letter, asking for the answers that we didn’t get from her confirmation hearing. I have yet to receive a response, but I wanted to share the letter with you.

Read the letter, and add your name.

Let’s make sure Betsy DeVos knows that while she may have been confirmed by the slimmest of margins, parents, students and educators are not backing down.

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31 Responses to “Betsy DeVos called me. I sent her this letter”

  1. Brenda W.

    Wow…what a way to start a professional relationship without even returning Ms. DeVos’s call! How do you expect to accomplish anything with that kind of confrontational approach? Nice grandstanding! If your demands are not met, then don’t blame DeVos!

    Reply
    • Jane D..

      My children and I are survivors of domestic violence. We were put in what was supposed to be a “safe haven”. My multiple felon (d.v. charges) ex-husband was involved in major government corruption (which I reported regarding terrorism associated with the media and insider trading. See Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s bill to stop U.S. from funding/supporting Al Qaeda/I.S.I.S.). He was able to use the system to destroy my life and my children’s lives, no matter where we went…there was no place to hide. As a result, our “safe haven” was turned into the equivalent of a Nazi Concentration Camp. We were targeted/terrorized and the most horrific human rights abuses imaginable were committed against us. NO ONE, including politicians who spewed lofty rhetoric, would help us, except one Republican Senator who tried until he was deployed overseas.

      Stasi like tactics were employed upon us in MA. and N.H.. A so called ‘telephone operator’ told me, “Maybe you should shut up about what you know or work for the government, “especially if you have kids”. The Stasi cabal (see FUSION CENTERS/SAR/NSI on wiki) included TEACHERS, C.P.S., UTILITY COMPANIES, RE-MAX AGENTS, HOSPITALS/DOCTORS/HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, CORRUPT JUDGES/POLICE/FIREMEN/E.M.T.’S, AND CRIMINALS (EG. HEROIN DEALERS, ARSONISTS, PEDOPHILES, THIEVES, ECT.) The State Police were gagged, along with others (See Sen. Grassley’s July 6, 2016 letter to F.B.I. Director Comey regarding agent’s/whistle blowers being gagged).

      First my oldest son, who was special needs, was discriminated against so he couldn’t go to college, by the school not giving him the courses he needed, that I was told he would receive, while being in a residential facility. This required my intervention to correct, before he graduated. Then my second son was discriminated against, who also was special needs (emotional difficulties due to the d.v.) in public school. When I asked his counselor to put him into college prep classes in high school, I was told by the school counselor, “I hate to say this but special needs children are not given the same education as other children.” I was appalled! I said, “My son has an emotional disability but is a bright boy and has a right to the same education/opportunities as other children!” When I told them what they were doing was illegal and I would sue them if they didn’t get my son on board THEY RETALIATED. My son then came to me complaining about a strange book the teacher gave him. He said, “Mom, this book is sick. The teacher said, ‘maybe if you can “get this” you can make it in the fall.” The book had metaphors based upon Aryan ideology/survival of the fittest, sexual inuendo’s ;and an apocalyptic agenda. My attorney said the book was written by the head of the KKK/the Klavern, who was investigated by the F.B.I. The book was also banned by the Indian Nation due to it having a thinly veiled racist agenda. Outraged, I called the Superintendent and Department of Education. After this, THE SCHOOL RETALIATED by calling C.P.S. A C.P.S. worker (whose pharmacist husband had been charged with felony charges regarding improper use of Rx) came after me with bizarre unfounded allegations claiming I said I saw “Hitler flashing lights on the school bus”. A teacher then made a “joke” comparing my daughter’s name to a prostitute associated with a high profile politician. Another teacher began to aid/abet in the delinquency of my daughter, giving her a cell phone against my wishes, having her son give her drugs/alcohol, telling her to forge her checks/credit card (something that was asked of me to do by a RE-MAX agent before this which I refused along with refusing to shut up/work for the government, which started a pattern of this and malicious prosecution), and had her drive her car illegally. No one would do anything to help me/protect my children, except for the one Senator, I previously mentioned, although I tried everything to get help.

      Cult like techniques were used to alienate, indoctrinate and brainwash my children in order to use them as unwitting pawns/put them in harms way/destroy our lives/my family. My son, who was given the Neo-Nazi book, was eventually set up and drugged/military weaponry used on him (which also had been done to me and my daughter. Evidence of government corruption and retaliation was given to the State Police and others, including Pres. Obama, Michelle Obama, and other Top Officials, personally/C.R.R.).. My son ended up in a psychiatric hospital for two weeks (his medical records stated they gave him a pregnancy test! A precursor of more to come.), then had multiple unsuccessful attempts of malicious prosecution perpetrated against him (and me). He finally fled the country (a refugee from the ‘so called’ Land of Liberty) in order to be able to live in peace and safety. Maybe I should have contacted the organization “Forced to Flee” who helps victims of war, persecution and injustice.

      C.P.S., teachers, corrupt police, firemen, courts, C.A.S.A., a foster family and a cult like Bible Church (which had a Al Capone sign saying “Even a fish can stay out of trouble IF IT KEEPS ITS MOUTH SHUT) then colluded with known criminals, to legally kidnap my daughter via more unfounded allegations, claiming I believed in “government conspiracy theories and aliens”. This criminal cabal then put my daughter in a foster home, burnt it down for insurance money (fire chief and friend of criminals later arrested for arson), put my daughter in the basement of the cult bible church, shot her up with heroin and had a heroin dealer impregnate her while in so called C.P.S. “care”. This was after I begged the court to keep these criminals away from my daughter and paid a psychologist to do an evaluation on her which mandated counseling, all to no avail. The mother of the heroin dealer then got rewarded for her part, by being given custody and a nice monthly government check for the child. See “The Oddities of the (Sen.) Nancy Schaefer ‘suicide’ case.” (regarding C.P.S. child trafficking racket aka organized crime) The AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SICK OF THE CORRUPTION AND HYPOCRISY! THIS IS WHY TRUMP WAS ELECTED AND WHY BETSY DeVOS IS NOW SECRETARY OF EDUCATION! If I had the opportunity to have put my children in a private/charter school, NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE NAZI’S/STASI’S IN THE GOVERNMENT, maybe my children would have had a chance in this so called “Land of Liberty” where N.E.A.’s commercial, (that makes me SICK every time I hear it), claims that EVERY CHILD is given the opportunity to have a good education in order to excel/make the most of their life.

      “The darkest places in HELL are reserved for those that maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” (Prologue from the book “Inferno”. Movie premiered Oct. 28, 2017, same day F.B.I. Dir. Comey made his pre-election statement….no coincidence.)

      So LILY, where is the transparency and accountability for what was done to my children/my family? A complaint to the Dept. of Ed., (which recommended the Neo-Nazi book to the school), got me nowhere. Where were the concerns for the most vulnerable and protections against discrimination, when me and my children’s Constitutional/Civil rights were violated and our lives were made into a living hell? (Including my permanent Federal R.I.C.O. and State R.O.’s being violated by the very people who took an oath to protect/serve us.) FOCUS on this: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So taking into consideration what was done to me and my children, I would say that these sadistic psychopaths, especially those that were entrusted with the care/education of children, have a lot to be concerned about.

      Reply
      • Roger Thompson

        Too many words but I do feel your pain. You lost us at the 3rd paragraph.

        Reply
    • Lisa

      Agreed. The Secretary of Education reached out to you, got your voice mail, and then received the above letter? Like it or not, she is our Secretary of Education and we need her. I would hope that the NEA would be actively reaching out to her to educate her on public schools, the hurdles we face, and the resources we need. I am, frankly, appalled that this is the response she received. We need to do better.

      Reply
      • Serapio

        Lisa the letter that was sent does exactly what you state the Secretary of Education needs to know.
        The real travesty of your response is that you aren’t able to even acknowledge what you said in your own words. The Secretary of Education should already be aware of the needs. The Secretary of Education shouldn’t need to be told what the needs are given how important the position is. The future of America is on the shoulders of Secretary of Education and you fail to see the significance of your own words, they need to be informed of what the needs are after the fact! You’ve just pointed out the true nature of the issue, the Secretary of Education is unaware of what the needs of America’s students are.
        Hats off to Lily Eskelsen Garcia, well said!

        Reply
    • Utah Teacher

      Wrong Brenda W.! YOU obviously do not understand what public education and its teachers are up against with DeVos. DeVos is just as unqualified to be in her current position, as Trump is in his position. If you watched the hearings, DeVos could not answer any of the questions she was asked. She doesn’t understand federal laws regarding education; she cannot relate to anyone who has to take a loan out to go to college; she’s never worked a day in her life which should be offensive to everyone who has a job…whatever that job may be. Her ideologies about education create institutionalize segregation, and will send more students through the school to prison pipeline; in the long run, that affects everyone and the future of our economy. Her ideology will create more student drop-outs, and goes against a simple basic human right to a free education. Her vision of charters schools is a farse. Everyday, there are several news pieces and articles regarding another charter that has failed its students and has been involved with unethical and illegal money issues. Ho suffers in the long run? Our students. She will crush the the structure of a democratic society as will Trump.

      If your child was subjected to the educational pitfalls of the DeVos plan, and you realized how prejudice it is, I can imagine you would be furious! So as teachers, we are asking for DeVos to tell us simply what she will do for our children…including yours! This not grandstanding. It’s about doing the right thing for our children, our future, and society in general. You have the right to know what she wants to do with public education because it’s your tax dollars! You and everyone else, should be upset that millions of dollars in tax money, will be put into these charter schools that fail our students, fail your children and grandchildren, and create a larger gap in our society; it will be the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This will create inequality everywhere, unless you are rich. And sadly, she works for us; for you, me (as a teacher), and our children. She needs to answer to us. It’s not grandstanding – it’s accountability.

      Reply
    • Lisa

      When I call someone and get sent to voice mail, I do a few things… 1) I leave a detailed reason for my call, 2) I leave options for how to contact me – INCLUDING email, and 3) I call back until I actually speak to the person.

      DeVos is not unlike the student who emails the teacher a question and then doesn’t bother to check for a response, but comes to class three days later and asks: “Did you get my email?”

      Did those of you who are disparaging Lily hear what the voice mail said? Do you even know her? I didn’t hear the email, but I know Lily – and I know that she is thoughtful and thorough. Her letter reads as the perfect starting point for an in-depth conversation – one which is long overdue.

      Reply
    • Get Over Yourself

      Lily,
      The NEA unfortunately has no voice at the table for this very reason. I would grow a pair and actually get a meeting set up with her? I am sure one of your secretaries can set it up for you.

      Reply
    • Dorothy

      Best to save your criticism for Betsy deVos, don’t you think? She’s the one hellbent on destroying our public education system.

      Reply
  2. Anne Kerr

    Thanks for the chance to sign on to your letter. What about a petition to ask Ms. DeVos to spend at least one week (or more!) in a public school classroom, since she’s only this one time done so. Better yet, a week in an inner city school; a week in a rural school; etc. She should be stationed in the classroom like an aide so that she can fully understand what’s required of teachers! I feel certain she would be enlightened!

    Reply
    • Roger Thompson

      Would this idea also be applicable to Obama, who never really had a job other than in government? Your reply is ridiculous.

      Reply
      • Anneleise Dickens

        PRESIDENT Obama was never Secretary of Education. Has the current president ever held political office or even worked in government? Your response, sir, is ridiculous.

        Reply
  3. Melinda Toth

    Answer Lily’s questions we demand answers!

    Reply
    • Roger Thompson

      Demand? That sound a bit pushy and the reason why Trump won. Get over yourself.

      Reply
  4. Reginald

    Please tell Besty Devos too be mindful of special education students and title 1 students as well.

    Reply
  5. adriene smith

    will the states now be in charge of the school budget, because we know how money mysteriously disappears from our public schools?

    Reply
  6. Michelle

    Agreed, DeVos reaches out to you via an in-person phone call– the BEST way to have a chance to discuss the issues and as you yourself say discuss the “lack of clear answers”— and you choose to refuse the phone call and instead write a letter? Really? I’m losing faith that my own NEA truly wants to discuss and work on our issues. You only are working hard to further divide here Ms. Garcia. That isn’t helpful for our kids.

    Reply
    • Roger Thompson

      Great comment but if she is young and her head filled with erroneous information she won’t care, unfortunately.

      Reply
    • Lolo

      I agree. While I’m 100% baffled by this nomination and fearful for what policies will result, discourse is the only route to progress. Blocking DeVos from entering our schools or refusing to answer her call reflects poorly on all of us. Let’s walk our talk and listen, even if it makes us squirm.

      Reply
    • Utah Teacher

      Michelle, don’t lose faith in Lily. This was an NBI presented at the annual RA and the delegation voted to support that Lily write the letter. She has to do it, because that’s her job. We are her boss. So if you are losing faith in someone, talk to your local NEA representative. I am a delegate for my state and I voted against the NBI because it is out of our realm to do this, as well I feel there is an underlying issue of hate and anger from some members of the delegation who support this. I don’t believe we should fight back with the same attitude. We need to be above that. “When they go low, we go high! “

      Reply
  7. Anne

    Seriously? You wouldn’t return her call and published a letter instead? How childish.

    Reply
  8. Roger Thompson

    I am thinking that this e-mail will end up no where. Want something done? Call and ask for a teleconference. There are 2 sides to every story and by being so confrontational this ends up sound like so many other crybabies. There is a lot of wasteful spending going on buying “toys” like Ipods, Ipads and other other expensive technology that gets answers from wikipedia and other useless sources. Smartboards are being used to to play recreational videos while students eat popcorn and drink pop and at $500 a bulb books and other sources would be a far better way to spend money. Also dump many of the useless extra administrators that just want a way to get to a higher level of monetary level for retirement. I taught for 37 years and saw a lot of bad things going on including common core. Grow up and knock off the whining and learn how to negotiate or you are going to widen that gap to the point of never coming back. The NEA showed bad judgement backing Obama and then with Hillary made me understand what their real agenda is. Don’t fool yourself.

    Reply
  9. Amanda

    I’m concerned by this tactic by NEA. We need to be a part of the very serious discussions happening about public education. I need the president of NEA to work engage and influence the Department of Education not send a meaningless letter. This is weak, confusing and not helpful to improving public schooling in this country.

    Reply
  10. Bonnie Davis

    Keep it up, Lily!! The more you are enraged the more we see what your real agendas are. Your politics trump your real interest in legit education for our children. I hope you have a trans bathroom in your big office.

    Reply
    • Heidi Jensen

      Bonnie Davis, your comment is out of line. Since 2012 I have attended the annual NEA RA as a state delegate. If you heard her speak out about our students, you would be overwhelmed by her compassion, her conviction, and her graceful ability to speak for our students. In fact, yesterday at the RA, a delegate said to another delegate, “Aren’t you in the wrong bathroom?” Lily heard about it and with grace and style spoke to us, saying that we are teachers here with a mission to support equality for everyone, and really, the comment was out of line. Don’t put out sarcastic and disrespectful rhetoric.

      Reply
  11. Diane

    What a disappointing lack of civility you showed by choosing to write a letter with a confrontational undertone rather than putting your big girl pants on and returning the phone call. Shouldn’t you be an example to the children? Shouldn’t the children be the most important issue here? Shouldn’t you be working WITH this woman on their behalf, regardless of whether you like/agree with her? Shame on you!!

    Reply
  12. Charlie Frazier

    My name is Charles Frazier. I am a screenwriter. I am promoting a dramatic film, “Until We Are Parted”, about a terminally ill 5th grade teacher, who has liver cancer and wants to save 2 of her students from a dangerous environment, before it’s too late for her and them.

    Claire McKay, an elementary school teacher, has become deeply concerned with two of her students, (twins) Michael & Michele. She is sadden and appalled when she learns of the horrible and dangerous conditions they are living in. Their father is in prison, the mother is a drug addict and some teenager is running around their apartment with a loaded gun.

    Claire wants desperately to adopt these kids, but she is single and has a secret of her own, she has been diagnosed with a terminal liver disease which is quickly taking over her life…

    We have selected Cali Rossen of https://www.facebook.com/ThePowGirl/ to produce and direct this feature. Cali has read the synopsis and is very excited to be involved in this project. My daughter and twin sister are both teachers.

    We are seeking major funding from The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and believe that the American Liver Foundation, and teachers everywhere, will support this us. I would greatly appreciate support from your organization for this project.

    You can learn more about this film @
    https://www.facebook.com/UntilWeAreParted/

    Sincerely,
    Charles Frazier

    Reply
  13. elizabeth gellatly

    Hi, Lily!
    I think it is positive that DeVos called you. I think you will probably call her back as well- because I sense that you are a down-to-earth person first and foremost. I think there is a lot that you can say in a letter that you may not be able to say in a phone call- which also gives her time to think about things before you actually do talk to her.
    Lily, I have faith in you and I hope you get your chance to tell her what you think. She has already told us what she thinks, if her process was any indication. She has a lot to learn. I am not sure where all these other people are coming from in bashing you for writing a letter.
    Thanks for all the work you do! I will see you at the RA in Boston 2017!!!!
    Elizabeth Gellatly

    Reply
  14. Lucinda Johnson

    Unprofessional reply at every level. Give the woman a phone call and stop the hysterics.

    Reply
  15. Alan

    Scary responses to a request to questions that already should have been supplied. Politics are only inserted into this dialog from responders that bring up past political issues of there personal agenda. “Quit crying “is so condesending as is reference to age. Let her respond without double talk just the written truth.

    Reply
  16. Larry Ruble

    Secretary DeVos’s lack of response provides the answers to the questions louder and more clearly than words could ever convey. She tried to dance around these issues at her confirmation hearing and was able to avoid direct yes or no answers. By not responding to Lillie’s written questions for so long she has provided us with her direct answers. No, no, no, and no.

    Reply

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