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Black Government Worker's Office 'Targeted' in Attack

Betsy DeVos has called for an investigation
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2019 2:11 PM CDT
US Marshals escorted Ruby Bridges when she helped desegregate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, 1960.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – A black employee's office at the US Department of Education has been vandalized in what looks like a racially motivated attack, NBC News reports. The employee hasn't been identified, but her school desegregation poster was damaged and African figurines disfigured. "She had some dolls in her office that were decapitated," an employee tells CNN. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has called for an investigation and added security while offering support to the employee, the department says. Meanwhile, a congressional aide and department workers say they don't believe a personal dispute fueled the attack, since the employee in question got along well with colleagues.

Perhaps her recent designation as "diversity change agent" played a role. "I don't know if it was targeted, but it sure does feel like it," says an employee. "To pick one room and to go in and destroy it like that." Other employees say they're upset top department officials aren't revealing more about the incident. Out of solidarity, some of the worker's colleagues are seeking copies of the poster believed damaged in the attack—of Ruby Bridges, a black girl who helped desegregate an all-white New Orleans school in 1960. (Read about an unarmed black man shot in a "stand your ground" case.)

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