Connecticut teachers, students protest DeVos' comments

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Before classes started this morning at East Hartford High School, teachers and students rallied on the lawn in front of the building in opposition to recent comments by Trump administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

With one voice Tuesday morning, about 200 East Hartford teachers, students and parents repudiated U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' grim appraisal of their public school system.

U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, speaks at the rally.

DeVos used East Hartford as an example for schools that fail to unlock student's potential during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing last week.

Since the comments were made educators have also invited Secretary DeVos to tour their schools in East Hartford so she can see them for herself. "But to characterize our school as a unsafe day care or a place that's run by students, that's inaccurate". "If a student like Michael had a negative experience, those are the experiences we want to make sure don't happen in our hallways. I gave her testimony of my life in high school and asked how she will change public schools for better", he wrote on Facebook. An East Hartford native, he graduated from East Hartford High School and later taught there. "We grew up in the hood", Larson said. "I was kind of disappointed that she took one student's opinion and that was her whole viewpoint on our school", said Daley. "If you don't put the effort in, you're not going to get aqnything out of it".

Responses to the district's latest climate survey show 96 percent of students "believe their teachers hold them to high expectations", and 97 percent of families believe schools "are safe, believe in our leaders and believe in the high expectations we have for our students".