DeVos confirmation sparks protests in Atlanta

DeVos confirmed, V.P. Pence breaks tie

ATLANTA - Atlanta protests did not sway lawmakers to block the confirmation of controversial Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. As a few dozen protesters gathered outside Senator David Perdue's Atlanta office, Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote on Capitol Hill

The protestors say that vote in Washington, D.C. doesn't represent Georgia's stance on education. 

"We're not looking for a pat on the back, we're not looking for a pat on the shoulder, we're not looking for a shoo, go away. We're looking for our issues to be addressed, we're looking for our concerns to be met," protestor Sabrina McKenziesaid. She insists Georgia Senators and Representatives are not listening to constituent concerns.

"The voices of the people are silenced," she said. 

Right before the vote, more than 100 tweets per minute were sent opposing Betsy DeVos' confirmation.

"She has no experience, no background to be the head of the federal department of education, she's just not qualified," Gerald Griggs, the Vice President of the Georgia NAACP said. "In fact, I'm more qualified than she is."

Devos is a strong advocate for school choice.  Senator Perdue is the child of two public school teachers, and he says it's not political.

"Parents, teachers, administrators, and students all know that one-size-fits-all Washington education standards are not working and it is time to return control back to states and communities. Betsy DeVos shares these same beliefs," he said in a statement

Senator Johnny Isakson echoed that sentiment saying, “I appreciate her commitment to parents’ roles in education and school choice."

Atlanta protestors disagree. 

"There's just too much uneasiness with her. We think it deserves a second look," Griggs said. "We understand she's been confirmed, but we remain opposed to her."

"We are sending a message to DC, we are sending a message to the President of the United States, we are sending a message to the community that we will be silent no more," McKenzie said. 

After her confirmation, DeVos sent a tweet: I appreciate the Senate's diligence & am honored to serve as @usedgov Secretary. Let's improve options & outcomes for all US students.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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