Bethune-Cookman Graduates Turn Their Backs on Betsy DeVos

Supt. Michelle KIng during a visit to Windsor Hills Elementary School

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers told the Daily Beast that by bringing in Betsy DeVos the university was honoring her status and not her actions and that is why she received such a cold and loud response.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was verbally assaulted during her commencement address at Bethun-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida this week.

The booing became an uproar again mid-speech, when DeVos said she would be visiting the grave of the school's founder.

She barely got the first sentence out at Wednesday's Bethune-Cookman University ceremony before students began loudly jeering her in an apparent attempt to drown out her message.

DeVos said the Trump administration is fully committed to the students' success.

As the crowd kept trying to shout her down, university president Edison Jackson briefly took over the microphone to sternly lecture the class of 2017. Instead, it angered graduates who felt DeVos was receiving accolades that she did not deserve.




"If this behavior continues, your degrees will be mailed to you".

Historically black colleges were founded prior to 1964 when segregation prevented blacks from attending most colleges and universities in the country. "Never forget that. Through serving others, you can extend that legacy".

"We are all about the business of making new friends", Jackson said at a pre-commencement news conference.

Ahead of the speech, students, alumni and political activists sought to have DeVos' invitation rescinded, saying they were offended by her earlier comment. Activists gathered outside, one carrying a sign that said "DeVos is not worthy".

"As we have said repeatedly, be careful of the people you let in your place", Jackson said, seeming to acknowledge the criticism and drawing an eruption of laughter. She understood, however, the great value of education, and she understood the nuances of how to balance delicate and hard relationships in order to achieve her ultimate goal of building an institution of higher learning, of which we are the beneficiaries today.

"I have respect for all those who attended, including those who demonstrated their disagreement with me", she said.

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