Protests to greet DeVos at historically black college commencement address


The controversy began as soon as the selection of Devos as a commencement speaker was announced earlier this month.

"Let's choose to hear one another out".

There was no chance that was going to happen in 2017.

Historically black colleges, it shouldn't have to be said, were built because students of color were denied entrance to all-white universities - not because of vouchers, which didn't exist yet.

Holy cow, #bethunecookman dean interrupts DeVos speech, threatens students "your degrees will be mailed to you!"

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks to graduates at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Jackson, an African-American and a Republican, and some others defended the choice of DeVos as the graduation speaker for the school, which was named for black educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune.

DeVos has continued since then to cite historically black colleges as alternative options for quality education, her stated goal for promoting the use of tax money for private schools.

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School leaders held a press conference this morning to defend their decision of selecting DeVos and pushed school tradition over political parties. Students booed, heckled, and turned their backs on President Donald Trump's appointee.

Much of DeVos' speech was devoted to embracing student's differences and encouraging graduates to pursue careers in service and "embrace grace". The comment is a response to the Florida NAACP's claims that students and faculty are being threatened if they complain about the upcoming visit of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

"If a school is not meeting a child's unique needs, then that school is failing that child", Devos said at summit run by Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley.

DeVos delivered a 20-minute address that was punctuated by protests from audience members, according to USA Today. Which made everyone long for the days when commencement speeches were delivered by random teachers reading from Oh, The Places You'll Go.

DeVos says the Trump administration is committed to students' success across the country.

DeVos said over loud boos, "We can choose to listen, be respectful and continue to learn from each other's experience".

An online petition with over 6,000 supporters wants to stop DeVos from delivering the commencement speech, charging the secretary had reduced consumer protections for student loan repayment plans and amnesty programs - something numerous Bethune-Cookman's students depend upon.