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Betsy DeVos faces hostile college students at Florida commencement today


Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave a commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla. As the video below shows, DeVos didn't initially receive a warm reception from students, some of whom turned their backs as she spoke.

DeVos persisted despite the booing and shouting. Her recognition of a few inspiring student stories during her speech eventually quelled most of the protests and led to applause instead.

Bethune-Cookman students had protested the news DeVos would appear at their commencement so she was braced for dissent and addressed critics in the opening of her speech. However, the heckling grew loud enough at one point to provoke Bethune-Cookman President Edison O. Jackson to warn students to cease or their "degrees would be mailed to them."

 

 


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Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.