DeVos spoke at Bethune-Cookman University’s graduation
Many of the students graduating from Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday turned their backs to and booed loudly at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who was on campus to deliver the commencement speech. The Trump appointee, who has no public education experience, probably shouldn’t have been invited in the first place.
BCU is a historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida. It’s shocking that DeVos was even considered for the speaking gig since she’s been beyond insulting to similar colleges. In February she said historically black colleges (HBCs) are the “real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” the Associated Press reported. Understandably, many African-Americans were offended since black colleges were founded during and because of segregation. DeVos finally admitted that HBCs were “born, not out of mere choice, but out of necessity, in the face of racism.” Apparently, DeVos thinks our country’s history is only relevant when America criticizes her attempts to rewrite it.
So, it was more than a bit surprising that DeVos would be invited to give the big speech on graduation day. The college’s school board made the decision, and more than 50,000 students signed a petition letting them know that the student body didn’t support it. But they stuck with DeVos. Activists gathered outside of the college on Wednesday to protest her speech. One person held a sign that read, “DeVos is not worthy,” according to the AP. When the billionaire who won’t stop pushing school-privatization took the stage students stood up and turned their backs to her while booing loudly as she attempted to speak.
“Let’s choose to hear one another out,” DeVos read from her prepared speech. “I am here to demonstrate in the most direct way possible that I and the administration are fully committed to your success and to the success of every student across this great country,” she added. Yeah, that’s not true. It’s doubtful anyone really heard her anyway because these amazing students showed the world they’re not afraid to stand up to someone like DeVos.
University President Edison Jackson took over the speech briefly and threatened the students who protested. Jackson warned: “If this behavior continues, your degrees will be mailed to you. Choose which way you want to go.” You know you’ve messed up royally when you’re shouting at the students you’re supposed to be celebrating. That was all the school had to do today. Hand out some diplomas and say “Congratulations!” Instead, they managed to insult their new alumni.
Thankfully, these graduates reminded school administrators that it’s always a good time to stand up to a corrupt politician.