WASHINGTON — Several dozen protesters are gathered outside a public school where Betsy DeVos is paying her first visit as education secretary in a bid to mend fences with educators after a bruising confirmation battle.
DeVos visited Jefferson Middle School in southwest DC early Friday. About 50 protesters gathered outside the school, holding signs and shouting “We fight back!”
DeVos has previously worked to promote charter schools and school voucher programs, which her critics say would hurt public schools. She was confirmed for the job by the Senate on Tuesday by the narrowest possible margins, after two Republicans opposed her.
Journalists were prevented from entering the school to cover the event.
“I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education,” DeVos said in a release. “No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report