This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO – San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten sat before politicians in Washington Wednesday hoping to be confirmed as Deputy Secretary of Education.

Meanwhile, a group of protesters gathered in San Diego to demonstrate against her nomination. Some of the parents claim that minority students were far more likely to be suspended or expelled under Marten’s tenure as lead at the district. One parent even said a teacher called police on her five-year-old son.

“My children have been harmed under the direction of Cindy Marten,” she said. “My son was handcuffed at 5-years-old.”

Another protestor claimed she was abused when she was a student at the district years ago. She said she only came forward now because she has a 5-year-old daughter of her own that is preparing to go to the district and that thought terrified her. She said she told Marten she was abused years ago.

“In that meeting, she bullied me and said I only came forward about my abuse because I wanted to be famous,” said Loxie Grant.

The District had no response to the allegations of abuse under Marten’s tenure Wednesday. However, in regards to the allegations that students of color were suspended and expelled at a higher rate, a spokesperson for the district told FOX 5 that district college readiness rates are as high as they’ve ever been, and the same goes for graduation rates. They add that they’ve seen a 50% increase in college readiness for Latino and African American students.

Additionally, they say they’ve seen a decline in suspension and expulsion rates for minority students in recent years.

But the crowd in San Diego remained unconvinced that Marten deserved the promotion to federal office. “You need to speak to the people on the ground,” said one protester. “No on Marten!”

Back at her hearing, Marten also had to face a tough line of questioning from politicians on the hill.

“Is there a difference in infection rate in the places where schools are open versus not open?” asked Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney.

“In the surrounding community?” asked Marten. “I don’t believe so.”

“Then help me understand why it is that we continue to have so many schools closed?” Romney responded.

Marten responded by saying the district worked with a team of doctors and specialists with UC San Diego to figure out safe guidelines and a plan for reopening.

“I certainly hope that as the Department of Education, you’ll be able to provide guidance that helps out the entire nation instead of saying to every school district, ‘Hey, why don’t you get your own experts to figure this out,’” Romney replied.

Marten also spoke about plans for schools in San Diego to implement a summer program aimed at getting kids back together and comfortable with each other so they can hit the ground running by Fall.

“If I should be confirmed, I would like to lift up the best practices around the country,” she said about implementing the summer program on a higher scale.