May 11, 2017

It’s sad to see that after four years of higher education, some students at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, still haven’t learned basic common courtesy. After failing to force the school to rescind an invitation to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to speak at their graduation, when she attempted to speak, they stood up, turned their backs and tried to drown her out with booing. When a reporter asked some students later what their rudeness to DeVos was about, they couldn’t even explain it. It was just kneejerk partisan hatred.

They should be particularly ashamed because Bethune-Cookman is a historic African-American University. If they knew anything about the background of the woman they were booing, they would know that the charter schools she championed in Detroit resulted in significantly better results for impoverished minority students. A study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes found that Detroit charter school students gained up to three months more learning per year in math and reading than their peers in public schools. In other words, they were booing a woman who had fought to help poor African-American students make it into the very university where they were booing her.

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Maybe all schools, public, private and charter, need to add a lesson to reading class on not judging a book by its cover.


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