Trump Administration

As Spellings advises DeVos, a leading charter school booster urges the Senate to reject Trump’s pick for Education Secretary

Spellings appeared on CBS this Morning.

UNC system President Margaret Spellings, former Education Secretary under President George W. Bush, says she has confidence in Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education.

Spellings told CBS This Morning that she has advised DeVos to travel the country and listen.

“I expect her to listen a lot. This is the era of the states and I expect she’ll be an honest broker and a great leaders for all of our schools,” said Spellings on Wednesday.

Spellings told network anchors she believes DeVos is committed to public schools.

“I think the question is where can we find the best education for students, not what is the name on the door.”

And while DeVos found support from Spellings, she found a skeptic in philanthropist and charter school advocate Eli Broad.

The LA Times reports Broad sent a letter to U.S Senators today urging them to vote against DeVos. Here’s an excerpt from his letter: Read Broad’s full letter here.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have said they will oppose President Trump’s nomination.

Trump Administration

NC NAACP President: Trump’s Muslim travel ban, new immigration policies “ugly” and “immoral” (Audio)

Rev. William Barber, the president of the state NAACP and head of the Moral Monday movement, is weighing in on President Donald Trump’s order to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

On Monday, Rev. Barber called the recent executive orders mean-spirited and immoral.

“We have to stand up against it…”

Barber said the Muslim ban affecting refugees and plans to build a wall between the U.S and Mexico are just some of the issues that the People’s Assembly coalition will be protesting February 11th in Raleigh at the next HKonJ demonstration.

Click below to hear Rev. Barber discuss Trump’s policies and explain the need to protect the civil rights of all people:

News

Boy Scouts of America to officially accept transgender youth

The Boy Scouts of America has announced that effective immediately it will allow transgender children in its boys-only program.

Officials with the organization explained their decision this way:

“While we offer a number of programs that serve all youth, Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting are specifically designed to meet the needs of boys. For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.

Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application.  Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child.

The Boy Scouts of America is committed to identifying program options that will help us truly serve the whole family, and this is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible – all while remaining true to our core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.”

The announcement comes as North Carolina lawmakers struggle with transgender rights and the repeal of the anti-LGBT law passed last year known as HB2.

Click below to watch Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh discuss  gender identity and program eligibility.

News, Trump Administration

North Carolina’s Attorney General blasts Trump’s “crude ban” on refugees

Add North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein to the list of public officials speaking out against President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. Stein took to Facebook over the weekend to explain why Trump’s ban has the potential to make our country less safe. Here’s the Attorney General’s full statement:

“America is a nation of immigrants. Throughout our history, we have welcomed people from foreign lands who seek a better life and in the process enrich the quality of ours. While some Americans were already here and others were brought here forcibly, millions of our ancestors came to this land to enjoy liberty and pursue happiness. We are the beneficiaries of their ambition and America’s tolerance.

President Trump’s crude ban on refugees and on people from certain countries, including those who are already permanent residents or hold a green card, from entering the country is not who we are as a nation. It also puts us at greater risk.

The human consequences are terrible – an Iraqi translator who served with American troops for a decade detained at JFK airport upon entry to the United States; a Clemson professor born in Iran who has a green card on the way back home to South Carolina from visiting family abroad yanked off a plane in Dubai; an Israeli Jew born in Yemen who has a green card uncertain if he can return home to the United States; a Syrian refugee family who had been vetted and was booked on a flight tomorrow to Chicago denied entry. The list goes on.

Trump is doing immeasurable damage to our nation’s standing in the world – a source of our strength – and is putting us all in greater danger. Trump’s action signals to the world that America sees all Muslims as terrorists. In the process, he actually strengthens the hands of ISIS, making it easier for them to recruit new terrorists, and undermines the United States with our allies in the Middle East whose help we need to fight ISIS.”

More than a dozen state attorneys general have issued a statement pledging to work together to make sure that Trump’s order does not “unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith.”

News, Trump Administration

Trump’s Muslim travel ban draws 1,000 protesters to RDU airport

An estimated 1,000 demonstrators spent Sunday afternoon at Raleigh Durham International airport protesting Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Similar protests opposing the ban erupted this weekend at dozens of other airports including: Charlotte-Douglas, JFK, Philadelphia International, Indianapolis, and Denver International.

Below are just a few images from the peaceful turnout at RDU before officials ended the event due to overcrowding.

Photo by: Suijin Li Snyder

Photo by: Suijin Li Snyder

Photo by: Lisa Sorg

Photo by: Suijin Li Snyder