On Feb. 8, her first full day as education secretary, Trump appointee Betsy DeVos ruffled some feathers with an evening tweet.
“Day 1 on the job is done, but we’re only getting started,” tweeted DeVos in a post that she was unwittingly about to make controversial. “Now where do I find the pencils? :)”
While the comment appeared innocent to some, many teachers and parents took issue with the tweet.
“Buy them yourself, like public school teachers do,” tweeted one individual.
The tweet was a reference to the fact public schools cannot afford to purchase school supplies — ranging from pencils to paper towels, crayons and more — for students.
Instead, teachers are often forced to cover those costs — which can be exorbitant. The Education Market Association found that in 2015, American public school teachers spent a total of $1.6 billion on supplies, reports Time.
“To the new education secretary, it probably seemed like an innocent message — just a friendly note commenting on her first day in the office,” wrote Tiffany Thomas for Romper. “But public school teachers and parents know different.”
“This is why when I saw DeVos’s tweet about her first day on the job, it struck a nerve,” she later explained.
Many agreed, also believing that the tweet revealed DeVos’ larger ignorance about many pressing education issues.
“This isn’t funny,” added another Twitter user. “You couldn’t answer basic questions about education during your hearing.”
“This tweet explains your qualifications for this job perfectly,” chimed in another.
Thomas agreed in her opinion piece for Romper:
So honestly before DeVos unleashes her plans for education on the unsuspecting students of America, she needs to show the kind of initiative, curiosity, and basic respect that we would want any child to show in the classroom. She needs to study. And while she’s taking notes from the thousands of underpaid, under-appreciated public school teachers in this country, well, she can do what those teachers and millions of families are forced to do these days: she can buy her own damn pencils.
Sources: Betsy DeVos/Twitter, Time, Romper / Photo Credit: The Sentinel Newspapers