The federal government is providing security services to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, courtesy of the U.S. Marshals Service. The increased security came after protesters sought to block her from entering a public school in Washington DC last week. The Washington Post reported on Friday that the provision of such security is rare for an Education Secretary.
The U.S. Marshals Service is a federal law enforcement agency that protects members of the federal judiciary, apprehends fugitives, and transports federal prisoners.
DeVos, who is an outspoken advocate of school choice, became one of the most visible members of President Trump’s cabinet after Senate Democrats jabbed her for supposed lack of knowledge about educational issues during hearings on her suitability for her current position. Her opponents, spurred by teacher’s unions, flooded the phone lines at the Senate, to denounce her.
It was when a handful of protesters showed up at a local public school in Washington and prevented DeVos from entering the school that her security was increased. Protester shouted “Shame! Shame!” One of the protesters, an Iraqi refugee, was arrested at the scene and charged with assaulting a police officer, according to a tweet by the Metropolitan Police. Eventually, DeVos was able to enter the school. Police are investigating whether Secretary DeVos herself was assaulted.
At an appearance this week at a national conference of magnet schools, DeVos told participants that there are some in the educational community who are resistant to change, saying “the protesters’ behavior is a reflection of the way some seek to treat our education system — by keeping kids in and new thinking out."
“Friday’s incident demonstrates just how hostile some people are to change and to new ideas.”