Protesters Confront DeVos Outside D.C. Public School Meeting

Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

Protesters temporarily blocked the secretary of education from entering a Washington, D.C. public school on Friday.

Betsy DeVos, who was confirmed Tuesday to lead the Department of Education by a 51-50 vote — the first time a vice president has broken a tied vote for a Cabinet nominee — was a long-time Republican donor and charter school advocate before her nomination by President Donald Trump.

DeVos was slated to attend Jefferson Middle School Academy, a public school in the District. According to WAMU, protesters outside the school included members of the Washington Teachers Union, Black Lives Matter activists and others.

The Washington Post reported that DeVos was initially blocked from her planned entrance to the school, and eventually used a side door.

In a statement released after the meeting, DeVos thanked the school officials in attendance, and said that while she respected peaceful protest, should would “not be deterred” from executing the Department of Education’s mission.

“No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children,” she said.

WJLA TV’s Sam Sweeney published video of the the scene at the school, before and during DeVos’ attempted entrance:

This post has been updated.

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