By ALAN HARRISSTEINAssociated PressWASHINGTON (AP) The Education Department website says Donald Trump is not “a hero” because he “has a penchant for lying and dishonesty.”
But the Education Department says President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about students has been an issue for years, particularly during his presidential campaign.
In the early years of his presidency, Trump told supporters that “teachers are the most dangerous enemies of our country,” and that teachers who don’t like what he says are “stupid, dumb and weak.”
He has also said that teachers shouldn’t be allowed to teach in schools with racial or religious diversity, and that he opposes the teaching of religion in schools.
He also has called teachers “stubborn” and “stiff-necked.”
But as the president became president and he won the election, his administration has repeatedly pushed back against those assertions, saying that teachers are “highly respected” and that they are critical to ensuring that all students learn.
“The Trump Administration has consistently supported and defended teachers who stand up for students, and will continue to do so,” the department said in a statement Tuesday.
“Education has always been at the forefront of the fight against poverty and inequality, and President Trump has taken a leading role in helping advance that agenda,” the statement said.
Trump has often spoken about his desire to “get rid of the bad teachers” and has cited his administration’s efforts to cut the number of public schools in some cities and make them charter schools, which are privately run but publicly funded.
The department also said Trump has repeatedly said he supports teachers who do not like what they see, and it said that the president has taken action to “eliminate bias and bias-motivated attacks on teachers.”
In response to the Education Dept’s statement, a spokesman for Trump said, “This statement is false.
The President is not ‘a hero,’ as his supporters falsely allege.
In fact, he has repeatedly expressed his opposition to the teaching and teaching of Christianity in schools.”
A spokesman for the Education Secretary’s office said Tuesday that Trump’s comments about teachers have been an ongoing theme for his administration and that the department will continue “to stand with teachers and educators who have stood up to this president.”___By MICHAEL SCHUMANNAPOLITANAP, AP Washington Bureau Chief for The Associated PressAssociated Press Writer Matthew Brown in Washington contributed to this report from Los Angeles, California, and the AP Newsroom in Washington, DC.