Black Lives Matter protesters blocked Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from entering a Washington, D.C. public school Friday.
According to WJLA, DeVos attempted to enter the Jefferson Academy but Black Lives Matter protesters, organized by the Washington Teacher’s Union blocked the entry way while heckling her, she turned around and returned to her car. D
One protester shouted, “Shame, shame, shame,” at her.
DeVos attempted to enter early Friday morning after the gathering was organized by the Washington teacher’s Union.
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) February 10, 2017
One of the protesters can be seen holding a “Black Lives Matter” sign while yelling at DeVos. The Education Secretary and her aides eventually made their way into the school through another entrance.
Washington’s ABC 7 captured video of the new secretary of education whose contentious confirmation required Vice President Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote in her favor, a first ever for a cabinet level nomination.
The Alliance For Educational Justice claimed, “Today, families, residents and community leaders joined to block U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from disrupting learning at Jefferson Academy.”
“Betsy DeVos has a track record of privatizing and undermining public schools that serve Black students for financial gain,” said Makia Green, an organizer with the Washington, DC chapter of Black Youth Project 100. “Today’s action made it clear: our community will do everything in our power to resist DeVos‘ destructive policies and her attacks on an entire generation of Black students.”
DeVos responded in a statement following the incident saying, ” I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the mission of the Department of Education. No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children.”
“Focusing on their students and families is at the heart of Jefferson Academy’s approach and that’s exactly what I believe is at the heart of providing an exceptional education,” she said in the statement.” I was honored to speak with Jefferson’s team about our shared commitment to strengthening public education.”
Teachers union opponents to the DeVos nomination, the American Federation of Teachers called it a “sad day,” when DeVos was confirmed Tuesday. Gov. Jeb Bush, tweeted out a congratulatory message saying President Trump made an “excellent choice” to head the Department.
DeVos gave remarks to her staff at the Education Department Wednesday, her first day at the agency, saying, “Let’s acknowledge: We’ve just come through one of the most bruising, divisive elections in modern times. And that’s OK. Our republic is resilient. We as a people are resilient.”
“Often, the morning and evening news cycles make it hard to imagine what might unite our nation,” she continued. “The rhetoric and the words can get hot and heated, and the animosity often seems unending. And that’s okay, too. People are passionate and moved by deeply held views. We are a pluralistic culture and we must celebrate our differences. But all of us here can help bring unity by personally committing to being more open to, and patient toward, views different than our own.”