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Betsy Devos: Trump’s education minister is resigning

In a letter of resignation to Trump Thursday, from which CNN received a copy, DeVos called the rebels’ behavior “unscrupulous” and wrote, “There is no wrong effect of your rhetoric on the situation and this is the turning point for me.”

“Impressive children watch all this and learn from us,” she added.

“I believe that each of us has a moral obligation to exercise good judgment and model the behavior we hope to emulate. They need to know from us that America is bigger than what happened yesterday.”

DeVos joins Transport Minister Elaine Chao, who announced her resignation earlier Thursday after taking “time to take over”
; the Capitol Hill uprising and the president’s response to it, according to a senior administration official.

“There was a lot of searching and discussion of the soul today,” said a senior official. “Obviously it was the right thing to do.”

The resignations began Wednesday with First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff, the White House Social Secretary, the deputy secretary of state and Trump’s deputy national security adviser, who came out before the end of the night. Other employees, sources told CNN, are considering resigning.

The wave of sudden exits came after Trump supporters – prompted by the president – broke through the Capitol on Wednesday and engulfed the country’s capital in chaos.

After hundreds of Trump protesters pushed barriers around the perimeter of the Capitol, protesters finally made their way into the building and the floor of the House was evacuated by police.

It was only after requests from aides and allies in Congress in the besieged Capitol that Trump released a video calling for the unrest to “go home,” while continuing to fan his baseless complaints about stolen elections.

DeVos said in a statement issued Wednesday after the breakthrough: “The eyes of American children and students – the younger generation that will inherit the republic we leave them – are watching what is happening in Washington today. We need to set a better example for them, and we need to teach them the solemn duties and responsibilities that come with the title “American.” “

A peaceful transfer of power, she said, “is what separates American representative democracy from the banana republics.”

The Republican’s best donor and school selection activist, DeVos was elected head of the Ministry of Education in 2016. The president hailed her in a statement at the time as a “brilliant and passionate defender of education.”

“Under her leadership, we will reform the US education system and break the bureaucracy that holds our children back so that we can provide world-class education and choice of school to all families,” Trump said.

While DeVos’ tenure was overshadowed by strong criticism of its education policies – especially its support for charter schools – its willingness and effectiveness in pursuing conservative priorities kept Trump’s allies happy.
Frederick M. Hess, an education policy expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, had previously called it “trust” and a threat to the educational institution.
This includes her advocacy for charter schools, as well as the repeal of numerous Obama-era regulations and guidelines. Among them was the institution for new protection for students accused of sexual violence, which her department called restoring the proper process.

It has recently faced significant internal controls over the rare presence of coronavirus meetings, despite a heavy focus on whether schools should remain open in the spring or open as planned in the autumn.

But even in her resignation letter, DeVos highlighted what she called the education ministry’s advocacy for “forgotten students” as she complained that Wednesday’s violence took away “much of the Trump administration’s” accomplishments.

“It has been an honor to hold this position for a lifetime,” Devos said at the end of his message, “and I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve America and its students.”

This story was updated with additional information on Thursday.

CNN’s Michael Warren, Kevin Liptak, Meredith Edwards and Jeremy Diamond contributed to the report.

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