Betsy DeVos Spoke at Bethune-Cookman Commencement. Audience Noise Was Constant; FL NAACP Issued a Formal Opposition Statement.
I watched US ed sec Betsy DeVos’ 23-minute speech to Bethune-Cookman grads on May 10, 2017. The full video is below:
I do not envy DeVos the task. DeVos stumbled over her words a number of times as she faced an audience of graduates set on actively resisting her as she spoke.
DeVos’ voice cracked as she spoke of Mary McLeod Bethune. I am sure the pressure to complete this speech was profound. However, DeVos is a walking controversy, the most controversial US ed secretary to date.
She made a smart decision to include the stories of three of the Bethune-Cookman students in her remarks. The graduate audience behaved best when DeVos spoke of these specific students.
She continued to verbally stumble. I have attended numerous graduations, and I have yet to hear a commencement speaker falter as much in his/her speech.
Based upon DeVos’ voice, particularly as her remarks approached the 19-minute mark, it seemed to me that DeVos might be on the verge of tears. Still, she seemed to regain composure around the 20-minute mark.
One can read the text of DeVos’ speech here.
She did not use the opportunity to overtly sell school choice.
DeVos did say that she “want[ed] to re-affirm this Administration’s commitment to and support for HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] and the students Betsy DeVos Spoke at Bethune-Cookman Commencement. Audience Noise Was Constant; FL NAACP Issued a Formal Opposition Statement. | deutsch29: