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Protestors Physically Blocked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos From Entering a Public School

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Protestors temporarily blocked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as she attempted to enter a public school in Washington on Friday, CNN reports. Protestors holding signs surrounded DeVos as she arrived at Jefferson Middle School Academy.

DeVos turned around and walked away, an ABC 7 video shows. As she got into her SUV and drove away, one protestor shouted “Go back! Shame, shame!” The protest was organized by the Washington Teachers’ Union, according to the Huffington Post.

DeVos later entered the school peacefully (through a different entrance) to meet with students and faculty. She addressed the protestors in a statement later that afternoon.

“I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education” it read. “No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children.”

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted about the demonstration, saying that “This bears repeating: Protest – peaceful protest – is fine but we do not condone violence towards anyone.” The second part of the tweet said, “DC has the fastest growing urban school district in America. We welcome @BetsyDeVos & anyone who wants to learn more about our schools.”

DeVos faced vociferous opposition before her confirmation, with many saying she is not qualified for the position. Critics argued that she lacked the experience to handle public schools, as she has never worked in public schools, attended them herself or sent her children to them. They also take issue with her support for school voucher programs that take money away from public institutions so children can attend private schools.

She was confirmed on Tuesday after Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 vote in the Senate.


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