FREMONT (CBS SF) — Across the Bay Area and California, teachers on Thursday were protesting the threat Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos represents to the public school system.
The protests took place early Thursday morning, a day before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.READ MORE: San Francisco's New Sobering Center Will Provide Drug Addicts A Place To Go For Help
Teachers made it clear that this lesson being given outside the classroom was not about Friday’s ceremony.
“I’m not here against an inauguration. I’m not here against President-elect Trump at all,” said Fremont Unified school teacher Kerrie Chabot. “I’m here for people to wake up and get informed.”
The demonstration by teachers from all over the Fremont Unified School District was one of the largest such protests in the Bay Area.
Chabot participated in a walk-in before the start of class Thursday. She has taught for Fremont for two decades.
She said this is the first time she’s felt compelled to speak out about her fears for the future of the public school system.
“I was very concerned hearing the interviews yesterday,” said Chabot.
She was referring to the questions being posed to Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos on Wednesday during her confirmation hearing.READ MORE: Study: Sediment, Tidal Marshes Are Key To Protecting Bay Area From Rising Sea Levels
In one instance when she was asked if she thought guns had any place in or around schools, DeVos replied, “I think that’s best left up to locales and states to decide.”
DeVos faced tough questions during the hearing about her stance on charter schools and voucher programs.
“Betsy DeVos has no public school experience,” said Fremont Unified Teacher Association President Sherea Westra.
Westra believes DeVos would pose a threat to public school funding.
“What she wants to do is take public funds and use them for vouchers; use them for students to go to private schools,” said Westra.
“It’s going to end up affecting your child. And it may be too late,” said Chabot.
Their message not just for the new administration, but for parents as well.
“We would lose the funding for programs in the traditional public schools 03 that have been running so well,” explained Chabot. “That’s my message.”MORE NEWS: COVID Safety: Warriors Officials Give Preview of Chase Center's Pandemic Protocols
Teachers from about half of the schools in the Fremont Unified School District participated in the walk in Thursday.