Fresh from her nail-biter senate confirmation hearings, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, nearly had her first visit to a [public] school thwarted by protesters
The new cabinet appointee was forced to sneak into the School building via a side entrance when she found no passage through the front and back doors
Protesters hold Sec DeVos’ staunch support for vouchers that can follow students to public and private schools, against her
Her Senate confirmation was deadlocked, but passed through Tuesday, on a tie vote that was broken by vice president Mike Pence
A small group of protesters blocked her from entering the school building, shouting: ‘Shame!’, forcing her to beat a retreat, before returning
After sneaking inside by another entrance, DeVos said afterward: ‘No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children’
Protesters block the entrance physically for Sec Betsy DeVos, who is led away by agents, as she tried to enter the school from a back door
As if her contentious Senate confirmation earlier in the week was not headache enough, President Donald Trump’s new cabinet appointee, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos got turned away and blocked physically as she tried to make her first visit to a public school in the nation’s capital, Friday.
The Amway heiress who admitted giving $200 million in campaign contributions to Republicans over the years, has had a rough week. Her senate confirmation hearing stalled, after some Republican senators crossed carpet during the voting, fearful that her unqualified support for vouchers and charter schools would undermine support for public schools.
For her first official outing, she ultimately made it inside the school building, but not before having to retreat to her official issue SUV, with the small but vocifrous crowd of protesters just a few feet away from her.
Secretary DeVos, whose nomination only cleared the Senate after Vice President Mike Pence broke a tie following a contentious process, ran into a welcoming party of parents, retired teachers, and a small band of aggressive protesters as she visited a middle school in southwest Washington, DC.
Things got heated as DeVos tried to enter the building through a back door. Intially retreating to her government SUV with the hecklers in her wake, some of them stood just a few feet away from her, her detail managed to get her inside through a side entrance.
After being physically blocked from getting inside, she turned away and left after being angrily confronted by a protester holding a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign.
The babies were not left out of the protest against the Education Sec as she tried visiting a DC public school, Friday
New Education Sec Betsy DeVos got turned away and blocked physically as she tried to make her first visit to a DC area public school, Friday
‘Keep giving money to senators and buying your way to the position,’ says another unidentified man. ‘You should be so proud of yourself,’ the man says sarcastically.
‘Go back. Shame!’ a man yelled, while an escort, presumably an agent wearing an ear piece, places an arm on DeVos’ back and helps her into a black SUV.
‘Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!,’ the man continued. It wasn’t known what group handful of protesters who blocked DeVos at the door were from. Inside she met with members of the Capital territory’s school board and school faculty.
Finally IN: Sec Betsy DeVos meets with members of DC Education Board and school faculty
DeVos issued a statement after the incident where she said she was ‘honored’ to meet with the school about ‘our shared commitment to public education.’
She added: ‘I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education. No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children,’ she added.
The Washington Teachers Union which organized a protest at the event outside the school nave denied involvement in the physical obstruction to the cabinet level visit.
She was escorted back toward an SUV, while protesters yelled at her
Signs promoted public schools. DeVos is a staunch supporter of vouchers that can follow students to public and private schools.
The relatively peaceful protest saw one male protester arrested for assault on a police officer.
‘Allegations that the U.S. Secretary of Education was assaulted are still under investigation,’ according to Margarita Mikhaylova, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department.
Parents and retired teachers held a traditional protest at the front of the school Protesters yelled at President Trump’s new cabinet member from just a few feet away
DeVos was confirmed by the Senate after her nomination provoked fierce opposition online. The new secretary who is the daughter-in-law of Amway cofounder Richard DeVos, stumbled in her confirmation hearing, and Democrats held an all-night marathon against her before the final vote. Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against her.