Education Secretary Betsy DeVos claims there is an orchestrated effort to make her life a "living hell."
DeVos said the protests during and after her Senate confirmation hearing were not "spontaneous, genuine protests." Rather, she said, they were "sponsored and very carefully planned," according to Town Hall.
She added: "We've seen enough written that they want to make my life a living hell. They also don't know what stock I come from. I will not be deterred from my mission in helping kids in this country."
On Feb. 10, protesters attempted to block DeVos from entering a public school near the Department of Education in Washington, D.C.
"I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education," she said in a Feb. 10 statement, according to CNN. "No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation's schoolchildren."
DeVos barely passed her confirmation vote on Feb. 7 after two Republican senators joined Democrats to oppose her nomination. Vice President Mike Pence saved her by casting the deciding vote in her favor.
Democrats vehemently opposed DeVos, a billionaire from Michigan who has never worked in public schools. They described her as an out-of-touch proponent of private schools at the cost of defunding public education.
"One of the most important jobs in our government is the Secretary of Education, who directly oversees the policies that children, teachers, school administrators, and entire communities depend on," Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota said in a Feb. 7 Facebook post after Republicans voted DeVos in. "It's not a job for amateurs who don't know the first thing about education. I voted against the nomination of Betsy DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor, because she is the most incompetent cabinet-level nominee I have ever seen."
He added, "Betsy DeVos has demonstrated that she is fundamentally unqualified to lead the U.S. Department of Education, and it’s a shame that Republicans voted to confirm one of their major donors instead of looking out for our children."