The woman in charge of all U.S. public schools was blocked from entering one by protesters on Friday morning.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos attempted to enter Jefferson Middle School in Washington, D.C., but protesters barred her way up the school steps.
In video obtained by ABC 7, DeVos can be seen immediately turning back from the school and walking to her vehicle.
“Giving your money to senators and buying your way into the position ― you should be so proud of yourself!” a man can be heard shouting at her.
He was likely referring to the fact that DeVos has made significant financial contributions to the campaigns of GOP senators who confirmed her and their affiliated super PACs.
“Go back!” he continued as DeVos got back into the vehicle. “Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!”
The same protester can then be seen blocking a vehicle as it tries to leave the parking lot. Video by Fox 5 news later shows him being detained by police.
The protest was organized by the Washington Teachers’ Union, according to WJLA.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, tweeted that she did not condone the protest, though she had previously called DeVos’ confirmation a “sad day for children.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser said she also welcomes DeVos into public schools.
DeVos relied on a tie-breaker by Vice President Mike Pence to be confirmed for her Cabinet position. Her nomination for secretary of education sparked anger from citizens who believe she is unqualified for the job.
DeVos was ridiculed for recently saying that guns in schools might be necessary to ward off grizzly bear attacks. Her critics also assert that she is unfamiliar with basic education concepts and laws because she never attended a public school, doesn’t send her children to public schools, and has never formally worked in public schools.
DeVos eventually found her way into the school she was attempting to visit on Friday. She addressed the protestors in a statement later that afternoon.
“I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education,” the statement said in part. “No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children.”
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