Betsy DeVos Greeted By Barricade Of Protesters Outside DC School

A group of protesters created a human barricade outside Washington, D.C.’s Jefferson Middle School Academy where Betsy DeVos was set to make an appearance.

Newly confirmed United States Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — who wants guns to be allowed in schools for protection from grizzly bears — has officially seen, firsthand, the strong public opposition to her new gig.

In her first visit to a public school as the head of the Department of Education on Friday, DeVos was blocked by a group of protesters from entering a Washington, D.C. middle school, ABC News reports.

Although the group of demonstrators was small, they created a barrier to the entrance of Jefferson Middle School Academy, which forced DeVos to turn around and get right back in her car.

"She doesn't represent anything that they stand for," one protester said. "Shame. Shame. Shame," repeated another.

The protest garnered various reactions ranging from support for the demonstrators to condemnation of their action.

DeVos’ controversial confirmation came at the hands of Vice President Mike Pence whose tie-breaking vote led to her snagging a position for which she is tremendously unqualified.

Eventually, DeVos made her way into the school building, but not before protesters gave her a piece of their minds.

After DeVos met with the D.C. Public Schools chancellor and superintendent, the school’s principal, teachers, and students, she offered a statement about the protests.

“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," the statement read.

"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 added. “Great teachers and leaders help make great schools, and I was honored to speak with Jefferson’s team about our shared commitment to strengthening public education.”

The highly publicized protest triggered responses from other political figures, including Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, former Education Secretary Arne Duncan, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who all mostly echoed each other’s sentiments.

One thing’s for sure, with so many Americans against DeVos being placed in this position, she has much to prove. 

Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters 

View Comments

Recommended For You