Black Education Department employee's office allegedly vandalized
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The office of a black employee at the Department of Education was allegedly vandalized earlier this week in an event that some department employees are calling a racist incident. 

The employee was recently designated as a “diversity change agent” within the department, NBC News reported.

African art figurines with their heads and limbs removed were reportedly found, and a poster depicting Ruby Bridges, a little girl who became an icon of the civil rights movement after she helped integrate an all-white elementary school in the South, was torn down from the wall and damaged. 


The alleged incident happened in the Education Department’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, NBC reported.

Unnamed department employees and a congressional aide said the employee was out of the office for multiple days, but she reported the incident Tuesday afternoon after she returned.

Some employees are looking for copies of the poster to hang in their own offices to support the employee, NBC News reported. 

Department of Education Press Secretary Angela Morabito confirmed that there was an "incident involving an employee’s personal belongings on the third floor," in a statement to The Hill. She added that Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDeVos forgives 1,500 student loans amid federal lawsuit Warren campaign launches 'a calculator for the billionaires' after Gates criticism Education Department finalizes new regulations to relax college-accreditation requirements MORE responded to the incident and referred the incident to Federal Protective Services.

“Secretary DeVos took immediate action, including referring the case to Federal Protective Services for a comprehensive investigation, increasing building security, and most importantly, ensuring the impacted employee was supported," Morabito told The Hill. “Because this is an ongoing law-enforcement matter, it is inappropriate for us to comment any further on specifics," 

“The diversity change agent program at the Department trains employees involved in the program to foster a more inclusive workplace, and Secretary DeVos has strengthened it since taking office to ensure a strong culture of inclusion at the Department," Morabito continued.

Frank Brogan, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, reportedly sent an email to staff Thursday saying that the alleged vandalism was under investigation. 

“There was an unfortunate incident on our floor this week. An office was vandalized. This cowardly action is intolerable and unacceptable,” Brogan told staff members from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, NBC reported.

A department employee, who was not named, said some staff were upset over the incident, especially because they did not believe a personal conflict led to the incident because the staffer had a good relationship with her coworkers. Some employees also accused department officials of trying to keep the alleged vandalism “under wraps.”

“I don’t know if it was targeted, but it sure does feel like it,” an employee told NBC News. “To pick one room and to go in and destroy it like that.”

A department employee also told NBC, “I could not believe that something like this happened. This should be a place that’s safe for all of us.”

The Hill has reached out to the Department of Education for comment.