The office of an African American employee at the Department of Education was reportedly vandalized earlier this week, with a school desegregation poster ripped from her wall and African art figurines found beheaded. NBC News reports that the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education employee—recently named a “diversity change agent” and tasked with promoting diversity within the department—was away from the office for several days and reported the incident on Tuesday afternoon. The poster that was torn from the wall and damaged is believed to have been a photo of Ruby Bridges, an African American schoolgirl who became the first child to desegregate an all-white Louisiana school. The figurines in the office were also reportedly found with limbs removed and heads detached.
Frank Brogan, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, called the situation an “unfortunate incident” in an internal email reviewed by NBC News. “This cowardly action is intolerable and unacceptable,” he wrote. Education Department spokesperson Angela Morabito confirmed the incident. She also said Secretary Betsy DeVos took “immediate action” and referred the case to Federal Protective Services for an investigation.