US University of Baltimore students protest DeVos as fall commencement speaker

23:41  11 september  2017
23:41  11 september  2017 Source:   msn.com

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U. Baltimore Students Protest Choice of Betsy DeVos as Fall Commencement Speaker . University of Baltimore president Kurt Schmoke defended his decision to invite U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to speak at the school’s fall commencement , even as dozens of students

President Kurt Schmoke says the university will not rescend the invitation to speak. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/ Baltimore Sun video).

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivers a commencement speech to graduates at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday in Daytona Beach, Fla.© John Raoux/AP Photo Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivers a commencement speech to graduates at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday in Daytona Beach, Fla. BALTIMORE - University of Baltimore President Kurt Schmoke defended his decision to invite U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to speak at the school's fall commencement, even as dozens of students protested against the invitation Monday and hundreds more signed a petition demanding he change his mind.

Schmoke, a former mayor of Baltimore, said students should reserve judgment on the controversial member of President Donald Trump's Cabinet. Hosting DeVos, he said, is "in the best tradition of the university."

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  DeVos expected to share plans on Title IX enforcement Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said Obama administration guidance on how colleges should handle sexual assault complaints isn't working and suggested it needs to be revised.She was expected to detail her plans Thursday in what the Education Department described as a major policy address on Title IX enforcement.That law, enacted in 1972, forbids discrimination based on sex in education. It was once seen as a measure to ensure equity in college sports, but in recent years has become associated with efforts to address sexual assault and harassment at college campuses.

Some students and alumni of the historically black college in Daytona Beach, Fla. protested her selection as commencement speaker , calling for the university to Betsy DeVos has been invited (and has now accepted) to deliver University of Baltimore 's Fall 2017 Commencement speech.

Some University of Baltimore students are speaking out against DeVos , their scheduled fall commencement speaker . 11, holding protest signs that read “support public schools #neverDeVos” and “We are DeVos -stated.”

"The university stands for freedom of speech," Schmoke said. "My bottom line conclusion is the university stands for debate on controversial issues. I do feel that having the U.S. secretary of education on our campus is something that's very important for the university, and in the long run, I believe that students will recognize that whether they agree with her position on issues or not."

Dozens of students participated in a "class walkout" demonstration Monday afternoon, the first of two protests planned for Monday. UB junior Tracy Johnson stood up midway through her global ethics class and walked out, carrying a neon orange sign that read, #NeverBetsy.

"Commencement is not the place for Betsy DeVos," Johnson said. "She stands against everything we represent."

DeVos expected to share plans on Title IX enforcement

  DeVos expected to share plans on Title IX enforcement Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said Obama administration guidance on how colleges should handle sexual assault complaints isn't working and suggested it needs to be revised.She was expected to detail her plans Thursday in what the Education Department described as a major policy address on Title IX enforcement.That law, enacted in 1972, forbids discrimination based on sex in education. It was once seen as a measure to ensure equity in college sports, but in recent years has become associated with efforts to address sexual assault and harassment at college campuses.

Betsy DeVos delivered a commencement speech at the University of Baltimore on Monday, sparking protests from students and members When the university first announced DeVos would be the fall commencement speaker in September, student government leaders spoke out against the choice.

Students and faculty at the University of Baltimore protested DeVos ’s selection as commencement speaker when it was announced in September, citing her criticism of public schools and support for school choice, according to the Sun.

DeVos supports "school choice," and is a proponent of charter schools and school vouchers. She says her vision will create competition and improve public schools, but teachers' unions and other supporters of public education say the secretary's ideas would undermine the schools that serve the majority of America's students.

"Your graduation day speaker is supposed to represent the best ideals of your school and highest aspirations of the students," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous said at the rally. "Betsy DeVos is quite simply the most anti-public education secretary of education our country has ever had."

Alec Ross, another Democrat running for governor, stood beside Jealous to listen to students at the event.

In a survey disseminated Friday by the student government association, more than 80 percent of respondents said they did not want DeVos to speak at the Dec.18 graduation ceremony. Nearly 3,000 had signed a petition asking Schmoke to rescind the invitation by the time the rally began in Gordon Plaza.

Visit The Baltimore Sun at www.baltimoresun.com

Betsy DeVos uses her own plane when she travels — and does not bill the government .
The Michigan billionaire also plans to donate her salary.“Secretary DeVos travels on personally owned aircraft, accompanied by her security detail and whenever possible, additional support staff, at zero cost to U.S. taxpayers,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill said. “The secretary neither seeks, nor accepts, any reimbursement for her flights, nor for any additional official travel-related expenses, such as lodging and per diem, even though she is entitled to such reimbursement under government travel regulations.

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