U.S. Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos took the stage at the Bethune-Cookman graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 10, and received a resounding amount of “boos” from the crowd. Students stood and turned their backs to DeVos as she spoke, and hecklers attempted to drown out her voice.
The initial reaction was so disruptive the university president, Edison Jackson, had to interrupt DeVos in an attempt to establish order. “If this behavior continues, your degrees will be mailed to you… Choose which way you want to go” he said.
betsy devos being booed is my pick me up for the day pic.twitter.com/qFWEdHbwng
— jordan 🌹 (@JordanUhl) May 10, 2017
When Betsy DeVos was announced as the commencement speaker at Bethune-Cookman’s graduation ceremony, students revolted. Thousands signed a petition against her speaking and the university clearly did not listen.
DeVos tried to reach a common ground with the students that was not successful. She said, “While we will undoubtedly disagree at times I hope we can do so respectfully. Let’s choose to hear one another out. I want to reaffirm this administration’s commitment to and support for (historically black colleges and universities) and the students they serve.”
Several students were kicked out of the ceremony for their protest, one junior, named Bobby, said he was there to “stand with his seniors”.
— Nick Valencia (@CNNValencia) May 10, 2017
She was scheduled to speak for over an hour and finished in under 20 minutes.