Washington D.C. police announced on Twitter Friday that they are investigating the possibility that Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was assaulted Friday morning when protesters blocked her from entering a D.C. public school.
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, one adult male was arrested for assaulting a police officer during the incident and a claim that Sec. DeVos was assaulted is under investigation.
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) February 10, 2017
DeVos initially attempted to enter Jefferson Middle School Academy, when protesters, organized by a Washington D.C. union, physically blocked her and her staff from walking up the stairway to the entrance into the building.
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) February 10, 2017
After turning around and walking towards a waiting car, she was followed by heckling protesters chanting “shame” and screaming at her for her political donations to Republican members of Congress.
After entering the government vehicle, which began to flash red and blue lights as it started to move, protesters tried to block the automobile. Law enforcement pulled protesters off the front car as it continued forward.
DeVos and her staff eventually made it into the school through another entrance and met with school officials.
The new Education secretary, whose contentious confirmation required Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote in her favor, responded to the incident later in a statement 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.”