When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos gave her keynote address at the Bethune-Cookman University commencement ceremony Wednesday, she was not treated with the respect and dignity her position or accomplishments deserved.
Throughout her speech, DeVos was booed by many of the students who are mostly African-American. Unfortunately, many students decided to make a statement by turning their backs on Secretary DeVos. Despite the horrific behavior of the students, she handled herself with grace, and she continued on with her speech until university president Edison Jackson took over the microphone. Politely pushing DeVos to the side, Jackson took to he podium and said, “If this behavior continues, your degrees will be mailed to you. Choose which way you want to go.”
DeVos has faced criticism over a statement she made regarding black colleges when she said historically that black colleges were “real pioneers when it comes to school choice.” She later amended her statement when it was pointed out that those colleges were created out of necessity due to racism, not to create choice.
Jackson, who was accused of “selling out” with the invitation to DeVos, hugged her when she finished her address.
When he took back the podium, Jackson told the crowd, “Bethune-Cookman University can’t do it alone. We need everyone to be a part of this continuation of our institution.”
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