An African American employee’s office at the U.S. Department of Education was vandalized last week, with some African art items beheaded, according to multiple news outlets.
The woman is reportedly a diversity change agent who had been recently appointed at the Department. Her diploma was also knocked down during the attack.
“She had some dolls in her office that were decapitated,” another employee told CNN. The victim of the vandalism was out of her office while the incident took place.
Speaking to CNN, Education Department spokesperson Angela Morabito stated that Secretary Betsy DeVos has already referred the case to Federal Protective Services for an investigation and ordered other measures to be taken such as improving security and providing support for the impacted employee.
Morabito stopped short of giving further details on the incident, saying “Because this is an ongoing law enforcement matter, it is inappropriate for us to comment any further on specifics.”
NBC News reported that Frank Brogan, an official at the Department of Education, emailed the staff members on Thursday regarding the attack.
“There was an unfortunate incident on our floor this week. An office was vandalized. This cowardly action is intolerable and unacceptable,” he wrote in the internal email.
The staff members were shaken by the vandalism, as it seemed like a racially motivated attack, according to NBC News, which attributed it to an employee at the Department.
Twitter users questioned how the incident occurred despite the security guards and the prevalent presence of CCTV cameras in the building, while others asked why it was being investigated as a “racially targeted” attack.
How would this be possible? https://t.co/kp5IwKkzWt … Gov agency, gov security, cameras everywhere… should be a slam dunk to prove who it was…
— DC&H LLC (@JustAHobbit) August 25, 2019
"One Education Department employee said that staff members were shaken and disturbed by the vandalism, which gave the impression that it was racially targeted."
Gave the impression? What tipped you off the beheading? Or the ripped poster? Or the fact IT WAS A BLACK STAFFER?
— Robin Mc (@celestemc) August 23, 2019
Education Department employees fear racism was motivation for recent in-house vandalism -/ Dept of Edu (?) should be disbanded and ALL responsibility for educating children should be REMANDED back to the states where it ONCE was!
— Luci Tomlin (@lucitee4) August 25, 2019