Graduating students at Bethune Cookman University embarrassed their parents and themselves by booing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos who was the invited keynote speaker.
Some of the graduates booed DeVos and turned their backs on her as she spoke. DeVos continued her prepared speech even as she was nearly drowned out by the shouting.
Before DeVos arrived at the University, protesters gathered outside holding picket signs.
At one point, DeVos called on the parents of the graduates to stand up. This was a calculated move on her part to shame the students in front of their parents. But the millennials couldn’t care less.
DeVos praised the university’s founder Mary McLeod Bethune as someone who “refused to accept systemic and repulsive racism,” and had “the courage to change old ideas.”
“Let’s choose to hear one another out,” she pleaded with the boisterous crowd. “I am here to demonstrate in the most direct way possible that I and the administration are fully committed to your success and to the success of every student across this great country,” she said.
University president Edison Jackson briefly took the microphone to reprimand the students. “If this behavior continues, your degrees will be mailed to you. Choose which way you want to go,” Jackson warned the graduates.
DeVos was an unpopular choice for Education Secretary because she is a millionaire elitist with no classroom experience. Despite the hate directed at her by the black community, DeVos promised to divert federal money to historically black colleges
After DeVos left the stage, Jackson took the mic again to remind the students that, regardless of their opinion of her, the school needs friends in high places with deep pockets.
“Bethune-Cookman University can’t do it alone. We need everyone to be a part of this continuation of our institution,” he said.