Jeff Sessions, the KKK-loving racist senator from Alabama who Trump has picked as his attorney general, apparently believes that disabled children are the cause of the woes in America’s public school system. In a 2000 speech on the Senate floor Sessions railed against the “complex system of federal regulations and laws that have created lawsuit after lawsuit, special treatment for certain children, and that are a big factor in accelerating the decline in civility and discipline in classrooms all over America.” The only coherent criticism discernible in this vague rant is that disabled children are, in Sessions’ view, uncivil.
He concluded his 2000 speech that the issue of disabled children “may be the single most irritating issue for teachers throughout America today.” In Sessions’ mind it is not rampant segregation and underfunding, not cuts to teachers’ salaries and benefits to line the pockets of corporate interests, not the racially-tinged rise of charter schools that Trump’s education secretary has championed, but the onerous big government dictate that disabled students be treated fairly that is the source of America’s public education woes.
Sessions apparently has a long history of fighting justice in the educational system. In the mid-1990s, when he was Alabama’s attorney general, he fought against a ruling that declared the gross inequality between Alabama’s wealthy and poor school districts to be unconstitutional and mandated reform. That case was only resolved in 1997 when Sessions was elected Senator and took his regressive obstructionism to Washington. Trump has claimed that he will be a president “for all Americans” yet he seems to have done his best to pick cabinet members whose obscene prejudices mirror his own.
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James DeVinne is a student at American University in Washington, DC majoring in International Service with a focus on the Middle East and South Asia. He is a founding member of Occupy Baltimore and interns at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.