Education Secretary Betsy DeVos faced jeering from Bethune-Cookman University graduates on Wednesday as she gave a commencement address that many students and graduates said she was in no place to deliver.
As she opened her remarks, some students stood and turned their backs to her. At times hecklers drowned out her remarks, CNN reported.
After noticing resistance during her speech, DeVos told the crowd, “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.”
The commencement programme said she was slated to speak an hour or more, but she wrapped up her remarks in nearly 20 minutes.
A huge chorus of boos erupted when DeVos was awarded an honorary doctorate, and again when she said she would visit the home of school founder Mary McLeod Bethune to pay her respects.
Witnessing the whole scenario, School president Edison Jackson interrupted DeVos’ remarks and warned the students.
“If this behaviour continues, your degrees will be mailed to you. Choose which way you want to go,” he said.