Protesters greet Betsy DeVos in her first visit to a public school

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Several dozen protesters are gathered outside a public school where Betsy DeVos is paying her first visit as education secretary in a bid to mend fences with educators after a bruising confirmation battle.

DeVos visited Jefferson Middle School in southwest DC early Friday. About 50 protesters gathered outside the school, holding signs and shouting “We fight back!”

DeVos has previously worked to promote charter schools and school voucher programs, which her critics say would hurt public schools. She was confirmed for the job by the Senate on Tuesday by the narrowest possible margins, after two Republicans opposed her.

Journalists were prevented from entering the school to cover the event.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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