Harvard Students Didn't Exactly Welcome Secretary DeVos

Posted: Oct 03, 2017 4:00 PM

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is still unable to get through a speech without being heckled. Her first encounter with protesters dates back to February, when she was intimidated and physically blocked from entering a public school in Washington, D.C. She has since been booed off the stage at commencement ceremonies, and, thanks to Harvard, called a "white supremacist."

While DeVos was reading through her planned remarks at the Kennedy School of Government on the importance of school choice, she had to do so while staring at a sign that read, "White Supremacist." Other students made a scene with clenched fists and chants.

“What does white supremacy look like? That’s what white supremacy looks like!”

The backdrop made for a rather hostile Q&A section. Students were particularly concerned about the administration's decision to roll back President Obama's Title IX regulations. Of course, these young adults have every right to hold the education secretary accountable, but don't our elected officials deserve some kind of respect? Almost every inquiry was delivered with a sarcastic tone and narrative. It wasn't exactly the most mature display for such a prestigious institution. Nevertheless, DeVos chose to ignore the rudeness and answer each question.

As to the issue of Title IX, DeVos commended Obama for raising the issue of campus sexual assault, yet she insisted that this White House is determined to not only protect victims, but the due process rights of the accused.

"One sexual assault is one way too many," she said. "By the same token, one student that is denied due process is one too many. We need to ensure that framework is fair to all students."

One young man asked DeVos how much she and the Koch brothers expect their "net worth to increase off the backs of students."

"I’ve been involved with education choice for 30 years," DeVos calmly replied. "I’ve written lots of checks for students to choose the school of their choice. The balance on my income has gone very much the other way and will continue to do so." 

Thanks to the unending protests and verbal (and sometimes physical) threats, DeVos's security could cost up to $6.54 million over the next year. Unfortunately, DeVos's unwelcome treatment at Harvard has become the norm for conservatives on college campuses.

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