Dept. of Education misidentifies civil rights activist, botches apology

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Dept. of Ed misidentifies civil rights activist, then botches apology. (KTRK)

The U.S. Department of Education was the subject of ire Sunday morning when it incorrectly spelled civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois' name in a tweet, then had a typo in a follow-up tweet apologizing for the first mistake.

"Education must not simply teach work - it must teach life. -- W.E.B. DeBois" the first tweet read.

After a few hours, a corrected tweet was posted along with an apology tweet reading "Post updated - our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo."

Another tweet followed, apologizing for the apology.

Users on Twitter had a heyday, many referencing the new education chief, Betsy DeVos.

DeVos' confirmation only went through due to a tie-breaking vote in the Senate by Vice President Mike Pence.

She faced criticism, even ridicule for lack of experience and confusion during her confirmation hearing. At one point, she said some schools should have guns because of the threat of grizzly bears.

And there has been scathing opposition from teachers unions and civil rights activists over her support of charter schools and her conservative religious ideology.

One commenter tweeted: "I love that your initial apology for a typo included a typo. We don't need any further proof that DeVos runs this account."

Others posted quizzical looks from African-American students.

Another tweeted: "Smooth move during #BlackHistoryMonth."

A spokesperson for the Education Department said Sunday the misspellings had been made by a long-time department employee. He said a new review process was being put in place with additional staff to prevent future tweet errors.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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