Parents, teachers block Betsy Devos from entering school's front - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parents, teachers block Betsy Devos from entering school's front door

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(NBC) -

Newly confirmed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos had to enter a middle school in Southwest Washington through the back door after protesters blocked the front entrance.

The crowd, which included parents, union officials and teachers from other schools, stood outside Jefferson Middle School Academy Friday morning with signs that read, "Welcome to our public school. It's open to everyone!" and "Ms Devos: Our children are not props."

One protester was arrested for blocking a driveway and refusing to move, police said.

DeVos met with D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson, Jefferson Academy Principal Greg Dohmann and other school leaders once she got inside the school.

In a statement released after her visit, DeVos said she respected the protest, but "no school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children."

"I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education," the statement read. 

A D.C. Public Schools spokesperson called the meeting with DeVos "productive."

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