DeVos heckled at graduation for historically black college

DeVos heckled at graduation for historically black college

DeVos heckled at graduation for historically black college

"As I said, I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be with you today".

At that point university President Edison O. Jackson approached the microphone to put an end to the nonsense.

B-CU graduating students booed and turned their backs on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as she delivered on Wednesday the B-CU commencement address.

Education Secretary Betsy Devos vowed support for the students at a historically black university at their graduation ceremony but was almost drowned out by booing and shouts of "Liar!"

Boos and jeers could be heard as DeVos, who drew ire in February when she said historically black colleges were "pioneers" of educational choice, was introduced. Most the students believe that her speech was made for political reasons and not because she had the universities best interests at heart, reports Al Jazeera. After a storm of criticism, she acknowledged that these colleges were "born, not out of mere choice, but out of necessity, in the face of racism".

"Right now is not the time for Secretary DeVos to speak at any historically black college", said Dominik Whitehead, a Bethune-Cookman alumnus who led one of the petition drives.

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Jackson went as far as to threaten to not hand out their diplomas and mail them to their homes instead.

Some leaders of historically black colleges and universities later expressed dismay when Trump invited them to the Oval Office for a "listening session" that became an apparent photo-op for Black History Month.

In her speech, DeVos praised Bethune-Cookman for providing the means to help its students overcome adversity and serve others.

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

For a little over a week, students and alumni have protested DeVos' scheduled appearance as commencement speaker. Dozens of activists lined a sidewalk early Wednesday; their signs included "DeVos is not worthy".

Jackson gave DeVos a hug after her speech, then took the podium when she left the stage. 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.

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