Meryl Streep gives shout-out to public schools during her Golden Globes anti-Trump speech
Meryl Streep holds the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Jan. 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
When actress Meryl Streep gave her speech at the Golden Globes awards Sunday night while accepting a lifetime achievement award, she instantly made news with her criticism of President-elect Donald Trump — without mentioning his name — and her plea to “the famously well-heeled Hollywood foreign press and all of us in our community” to support the Committee to Protect Journalists.
She also did another thing: She gave a shout-out to New Jersey public schools, which she attended when she was growing up.
Thank you, Hollywood foreign press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said. You and all of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood, foreigners and the press. But who are we, and what is Hollywood, anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places. I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey. Viola was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was born in Florida and raised by a single mom in Brooklyn.
Streep, who grew up in Bernardsville, N.J., attended Bernards High School, a four-year regional public high school serving more than 800 students in grades 9-12 (which, for those who care about these things, was ranked #88 in the United States and #18 in New Jersey in Newsweek’s America’s Top High Schools 2016).
Streep has been a longtime supporter of public education. In 2001, she helped promote a PBS series of programs highlighting public education, saying: “I believe teachers are heroes. It’s time we recognize the importance of these people who, despite countless obstacles and hardships, choose to teach . . . because they believe they can change the world, one mind at a time.”
Trump has selected to be his education secretary Betsy DeVos, a Michigan billionaire who supports initiatives to privatize America’s public education system.