Arne Duncan, Education secretary under President Obama, condemned protesters who briefly blocked Betsy DeVos from entering a Washington, D.C., public school on Friday morning.
“Agree or disagree w @BetsyDeVos on any issue, but let’s all agree she really needs to be in public schools,” wrote Duncan, who served as Education secretary for seven years under Obama. “Please let her in.”
DeVos was met with protestors as she tried to enter Jefferson Academy middle school Friday. She was eventually able to enter the school for an event, her first visit to a public K–12 school since she was sworn in as secretary of Education on Tuesday.
Parents and teachers gathered at the school ahead of her visit, holding signs that included messages like “Betsy DeVos does not play well with others — should be held back.”
One protester physically blocked DeVos from getting to a stairway to one of the school’s entrances, but she was later able to enter the school.
The Senate confirmed DeVos on Tuesday to lead the Department of Education after Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote. But her nomination was met with opposition for her support of charter schools and vouchers for private schools.
On Thursday, DeVos met with leaders at Howard University, her first visitto a school as Education secretary.