Hundreds protested appointment of Betsy Devos in Holland on Jan. 28

Aliyah Austin, Reporter

A march against the appointment of Betsy Devos to the office of Secretary of Education took place at Centennial Park in Holland on Jan. 28. The protest went from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and participants numbered into the hundreds.

Billionaire DeVos is a philanthropist, businesswoman and former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. She is known for her advocacy of school choice, voucher programs and ties to the Reformed Christian community. Devos also has limited experience in public education.

“I protested because Betsy Devos is not qualified for the job,” senior Madison Svoboda said. “Just because she has a lot of money doesn’t mean she has the qualifications to be the Secretary of Education. She has no experience in public education. She wants to privatize public schools which is not likely to help schools who are failing. My future children deserve to have a right to public education and I will try my best to make sure that is not taken away from them.”

President Trump nominated Devos for the position of Secretary of Education on Nov. 23, 2016. Her confirmation vote is scheduled for Jan. 31.

“The experience as a whole was eye-opening,” Svoboda said. “I didn’t know whether to expect a large or small crowd. I was amazed by all the people who showed up to support an important cause. It was amazing to see that people, both young and old, see through Betsy Devos’s ‘qualifications’ and her money. I realized that in order to spark a change, we need to keep creating and going to events like this. If we just sit and accept that these things are happening, nothing is going to change. It made me realize how grateful I am to have the right to a public education and how I don’t want that right to be taken away for future generations.”