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Teachers Don All Black to Protest DeVos' Confirmation for Ed Secretary

February 6, 2017 - 9:30am

If you see a sea of teachers dressed in black this week, there's a reason why. 

Teachers and supporters of public education are donning all-black outfits this week to protest the confirmation of U.S. Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, sending a message of resistance against Trump's controversial pick for the country's top education job. 

Badass Teachers Association organized the blackout protest via social media, calling on teachers, educators, parents and supporters of public education to wear all black to encourage lawmakers to vote against her confirmation. 

"We want our senators to dump DeVos," the group wrote on Twitter. 

On Monday, teachers around the country joined in solidarity to say "no," to DeVos, whose nomination has caused a commotion since Trump made the announcement in November. 

Social media feeds lit up with teachers from all corners of the U.S. snapping photos of themselves joining in the resistance via their all-black wardrobes.  

"Every black piece of clothing in my closet says don't vote for private school lady to run public schools," wrote one teacher. 

With nearly 60,000 BATs across the country, their voices have been loud in their opposition to DeVos. 

The U.S. Senate will vote on DeVos' confirmation this week, and while senators are expected to give her the green light for the job, the vote is also anticipated to be extremely close. 

All GOP senators -- except for two -- are likely to vote for DeVos, which would result in a 50-50 split  requiring Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie. 

Opponents of DeVos have flooded the phone lines of senators for weeks, pleading with their lawmakers to vote against her confirmation. The sheer number of calls has been unprecedented, leaving many senators scrambling to take all of the calls to hear their constituents' concerns. 

Like many other teacher groups, the BATs say DeVos is wrong for public education since she has never been a teacher, nor has she held any sort of education-related public office. 

DeVos is also a strong supporter of the school choice program, which teachers say funnels important funding away from public schools. 

DeVos' nomination threatens to figuratively dismantle teachers unions, whose positions are often at odds with DeVos'. 

Those that don't vote against her confirmation can expect pushback from teachers, who say they won't forget the vote when it comes time for reelection in 2018. 

Florida's own senators are split with their votes -- Bill Nelson says he will vote against her confirmation, while Marco Rubio says he will vote "yes" to DeVos. 

“I support @BetsyDeVos' nomination, because every child deserves a good #education regardless of their zip code or how much money they have,” Rubio wrote on Twitter last month. 

National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García said America would see what senators were made of during the floor vote this week. 

"The moment of truth is now," García said. "Will senators stand with our students and the public education system that educates nine out of every 10 students or will they ignore the growing chorus of bipartisan voices urging them to vote no on the controversial pick?"

“Senators: we are watching," she continued. "America is watching to see if you do what is right—reject the DeVos nomination—on behalf of students and public education.”

The vote on DeVos will be held this week.


Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen



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Notice all the teachers pictured are female and white? Why don't they want school choice for poor, inner city children? Why don't the Democrat Senators in DC, especially those who are Black or Hispanic, want their constituent's children to be able to receive an education in a school where they don't have to worry about their mother being shot in the head on her way to meet them after school?

It is sad to see the trailer parks so well represented in these posts. We (FL) are already near the bottom of education in the nation in terms of teacher's salaries and performance. If we continue down this road, there will be no one left to teach our children. As a father of school age children who actually pays taxes on this site, I don't see privatization of our schools as the answer. I have seen the corruption and miserable failures of these sham endeavors in public safety and gov't contracts. There are several things that corporations should never be allowed to do, mainly, making profits off of our hard earned tax dollars, and public safety and education, of which it should be illegal for bought and paid for politicians to ever have a part in. The state tried to avoid this in our constitution by mandating that every child receive a quality education via our tax dollars, so the politicians just changed the rules on what quality is and forced unachievable benchmarks on the public school systems, while exempting the private schools from the regs. If ever there was a sham, this is it. It is really just legalized racketeering. Yet the blind sheep follow aimlessly, glued to FoxNews in all the trailer parks...

"......trailer parks so well represented...." Get over your so arrogant, obnoxious, self "Concerned Parent": It's no wonder your "highfalutin" kids are so socially inept and resistant to authority, learning and manners... YOU'RE A FAILURE "Concerned Parent"!!! (But, rest assured, YOUR kids are, in fact, a "chip off the old block"). BUT, We're not too worried about YOUR particular "chips"; We're worried about the K-12 education SYSTEM,... and the (teachers') UNION that is counterintuitive to "education" in a "Right to work" State.

Sorry if the truth hurts...

Fire every damn one of them.

Teachers SHOULD wear 'black' EVERY DAY to denote the "death of comprehensive education" at their "soiled hands". So called "Teachers' Unions" and their pitiful "representatives" should be prosecuted for "stealing their unearned salaries" from parents and their kids: This "teacher scam" has been going on for far too long; additionally, local "Commissioners of Education" should be fired for the ever-present "politicization of education" THEY have fomented and institutionalized continuing the seriously flawed "teaching debacle" to the detriment of students ALWAYS & EVERYWHERE. The education system is a cancerous failure that we have sujected our kids too LONG ENOUGH!!! Florida is a "right to work" State !.... GET RID OF TEACHERS" UNIONS. AND THE "SLUSH-MONEY" THEY PAY TO PANDERING POLITICIANS..."ACROSS THE BOARD"!!!!!

Perhaps a week or two volunteering in a local school might change your mind. Give it a try tough guy. Trolling is easy! Teaching isn't!

"Been there, Done that"...(Far more then you can imagine "Libby"). YES, "teaching IS tough"...and you tenured fakers & whiners haven't been "cutting the mustard" for FAR TOO LONG ! (psst, "Libby", are you a gym teacher, or a Union Representative?)

After reading that the teacher's unions were instrumental in demanding schools give kids 3 days off, to attend "Anti-Trump Protest Tactics & Exercises", culminating in kids shipped to their nearest protest march... I now see Teacher's Union's on the same par as organized crime. Hopefully their primary financier, George Soro's , will be in prison soon for Sedition & the RICO ACT.

About 1/3 if the prior Secretaries of Edinburgh action likewise were not teachers. So what? It is no about saving union jobs it is about giving kids all the breaks we can growing up.

Our public schools and tenured teachers are failing our children! As an industrialized nation we spend more per child with the least to show for it! our children deserve better! DRAIN the swamp! Vote DeVos!

Agree. Anyone who believes the purpose of teachers' unions is to graduate educated children, probably thinks the UAW exists to mass produce fine automobiles.

This is not about Trump. This, to me, as an independent, is about right or wrong. This nominee is not qualified to be the Sec. of Education. This is not about politics, it is about what is right. I agree with most of Mr. Trump's nominees. I do not agree with this one. She has absolutely no qualifications, nor credentials to decide anything for our nation's educational system. If Mr. Trump is truly interested in "draining the swamp", he should have rethought this nomination, as this is truly only a political pick. I hope the Senate will weigh this nominee strictly on her qualifications to hold this most important office. If they do not, then it is time to "drain the swamp" and vote them out too...classic.

This proves she's the right person. Teachers are afraid that the failed education system is going to be fixed. The system has become an indoctrination system into socialism. Are kids will be unable to compete because they are taught that 1+1 can equal 5. They are taught science with computer simulation and no real world experience, your senses play a role in learning kids today don't experience that. The education system has become too PC! Civics and history have become unimportant, I've personally met High school students that have never been taught anything about the Constitution! They think we are a democracy and have no idea that we are a constitutional representative republic. This is sad, which also explains the inane demonstrations that are going on.

I've never heard anything as dumb as what you describe. You are proof we need quality leadership from top to bottom.

I've never heard anything as dumb as what you describe. You are proof we need quality leadership from top to bottom.

Whew, am I glad you are not my child's teacher... You can't add and your view of history and our own country are so far off base, you must have been educated in

She is pointing out the new math and new history is flawed.. this is what they are teaching.. WAKE UP True History is not being taught.. neither is mathematics. Morons don't know a half dozen is 6 etc.. ignorant snowflakes.. everybody get a prize.. BS

TEACHERS (generally) attend College/University. They focus on subjects they like and are "good at". They are NOT taught to MANAGE anything larger than their own Classes... yes, the ones who learn "Administration" are SUPPOSED to know the bigger picture of "EDUCATION". It's a shame that the average teacher has likely been taught by Liberal Instructors ("Professors"?) and really don't understand very much about "Education, American Style".

Libs are determined to "dump" one of Trump's nominations. This is A BIG goal for them. DeVos seems the most vulnerable. Wear black; wear green; no one cares. She will be approved.

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