Betsy DeVos DC school blocked vo_00000000.jpg
Betsy DeVos DC school blocked vo_00000000.jpg
PHOTO: WJLA
Now playing
00:53
Protesters block DeVos from entering school
SEN Appropriations Subcmte Hearing on Dept of Ed Budget, Betsy DeVos Testifies  LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES SUBCOMMITTEE (Roy Blunt, Chairman)  Hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2019 funding request and budget justification for the U.S. Department of Education  10:15 a.m., Room 124, Dirksen Senate Office Building  Witness: The Honorable Betsy DeVos Secretary U.S. Department of Education
SEN Appropriations Subcmte Hearing on Dept of Ed Budget, Betsy DeVos Testifies LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES SUBCOMMITTEE (Roy Blunt, Chairman) Hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2019 funding request and budget justification for the U.S. Department of Education 10:15 a.m., Room 124, Dirksen Senate Office Building Witness: The Honorable Betsy DeVos Secretary U.S. Department of Education
PHOTO: POOL
Now playing
01:25
DeVos: Won't look at guns to reduce school violence
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17:  Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next Secretary of Education, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs and is a long-time leader of the Republican Party in Michigan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Now playing
00:45
NYT: DeVos dismantles college fraud probes
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MARCH 07:  U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks to the news during a press conference held at the Heron Bay Marriott about her visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on March 7, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida.  DeVos was visiting the high school following the February 14 shooting that killed 17 people.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MARCH 07: U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks to the news during a press conference held at the Heron Bay Marriott about her visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on March 7, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. DeVos was visiting the high school following the February 14 shooting that killed 17 people. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Now playing
02:12
Betsy DeVos' competence called into question
PHOTO: WCBS
Now playing
01:01
DeVos: Haven't visited underperforming schools
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos delivers remarks to employees on her first day on the job at the Department of Education February 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos was confirmed by the Senate after Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote Tuesday.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos delivers remarks to employees on her first day on the job at the Department of Education February 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos was confirmed by the Senate after Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote Tuesday.
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Now playing
02:24
DeVos struggles with school safety specifics
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
01:22
Harvard students taunt Betsy DeVos
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:26
Boos drown out DeVos commencement speech
Betsy DeVos DC school blocked vo_00000000.jpg
Betsy DeVos DC school blocked vo_00000000.jpg
PHOTO: WJLA
Now playing
00:53
Protesters block DeVos from entering school
President-elect Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos after their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump has offered her the Education Secretary.
President-elect Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos after their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump has offered her the Education Secretary.
PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Now playing
02:45
Who is Trump's education secretary pick?
betsy devos swear in education secy
betsy devos swear in education secy
Now playing
01:53
Betsy DeVos sworn in as education secretary
Betsy DeVos
Betsy DeVos
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:38
DeVos: Confirmation drama was a bear
Betsy DeVos education secretary senate vote_00003830.jpg
Betsy DeVos education secretary senate vote_00003830.jpg
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:58
Pence breaks tie to confirm DeVos
Betsy DeVos speaks during her confirmation hearing for Secretary of Education before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Betsy DeVos speaks during her confirmation hearing for Secretary of Education before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.
PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:46
Betsy DeVos appears to have plagiarized
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:45
DeVos: Grizzlies can determine school gun laws

Story highlights

NEW: DeVos says she got inside the school to meet with students, teachers

"I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education," DeVos says

(CNN) —  

Protesters briefly blocked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as she tried to enter a public school in Washington on Friday morning.

Demonstrators holding signs greeted DeVos when she arrived at Jefferson Middle School Academy in southwest Washington, not far from the Department of Education building.

When she headed toward the school’s entrance, the protesters stood in front of her, video from CNN affiliate WJLA showed.

DeVos then turned around and walked away, the video showed, with one protester walking beside her shouting, “Go back! Shame, shame” as she got into an SUV and drove off.

Protesters gather outside Jefferson Middle School Academy in Washington to oppose a visit by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Protesters gather outside Jefferson Middle School Academy in Washington to oppose a visit by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
PHOTO: Martin Austermuhle/ WAMU

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, DeVos said she subsequently got inside the school to meet with students, faculty and administrators.

“I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education,” the statement said. “No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s schoolchildren.”

WJLA reported the Washington Teachers’ Union organized a protest but that union members were not among the people blocking her entry.

BlackLivesMatter DC, the Black Youth Project and other groups had sent social media messages urging people to protest at the school.

One man was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer, said Officer Hugh Carew of the Metropolitan Police Department.

After the protest, several officials took to social media to say DeVos should have been let inside.

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway tweeted: “Don’t we want the Sec of Education to visit schools?”

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, tweeted: “Just heard a protester blocked & almost knocked Secy @BetsyDeVos down at Jefferson. We don’t condone such acts. We want her to go to pub schls.”

Video didn’t show DeVos being pushed.

Carew said police were investigating allegations DeVos was assaulted.

Arne Duncan, who served as education secretary in the Obama administration, tweeted: “Agree or disagree w @BetsyDeVos on any issue, but let’s all agree she really needs to be in public schools. Please let her in.”

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, tweeted about the demonstration, saying: “This bears repeating: Protest - peaceful protest - is fine but we do not condone violence towards anyone.”

A second tweet from Bowser said, “DC has the fastest growing urban school district in America. We welcome @BetsyDeVos & anyone who wants to learn more about our schools.”

DeVos was one of Trump’s most controversial appointments. Critics complained about her lack of experience with public schools and her bankrolling of efforts such as school vouchers that could take money from public institutions.

She won confirmation Tuesday after Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 vote in the Senate.

DeVos visited Howard University in Washington on Thursday, the Department of Education said.

The District of Columbia Public Schools said DeVos had “a productive meeting” with students and staff.

CNN’s Jay Croft contributed to this report.