Betsy DeVos' Commencement Speech to Draw Protests

Petitions are rolling in to block Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' scheduled commencement at Bethune-Cookman University (BCU)--a historically black school.

Thousands of people have signed a petition and many more are even threatening to mail back their degrees.

Earlier in the year, DeVos had referred to historically black colleges as "real pioneers when it comes to school choice."

When BCU originally made the announcement last week of the secretary's appearance, Bethune-Cookman's president, Edison O. Jackson said she was chosen in honor of the schools founder Mary McLeod Bethune.

"[Her] mission to empower parents and students resonates with the history and legacy."

BCU alumni Trinice McNally says she and other former students were outraged by the invitation. 

"It's a complete insult. There is no comparison."

Dream Founders member Rachel Gilmer agrees with the alumni's opinion on DeVos.

"This is a person who's planning to privatize our schools. They're planning to gut many of the steps taken to protect student borrowers by Obama ... she has made it clear in her words and her actions that she doesn't care about the futures of black people."

While the university has been active on social media they haven't directly addressed the blow back but have instead posted a cryptic tweet. 

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