SARASOTA – As college campuses around the country conclude their spring semesters and send their graduates into the real world, commencement ceremonies traditionally have been moments of optimism and community. However, at the New College of Florida, those graduating made their feelings known regarding the DeSantis-backed leadership and especially the ceremony’s speaker, Scott Atlas, a radiologist and former White House special adviser to former President Donald Trump (R) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In protest, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that “hundreds of students and attendees at Friday’s graduation ceremony wore masks and turned their backs.”
During Atlas’ speech, protestors attempted to drown out the speaker by yelling “Wrap it up” while others yelled “Go f--k yourself.”
The DeSantis’ state government regime installed a puppet Board of Trustees at New College and invited a far-right commencement speaker for graduation.
Things did not go well. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/e6r01muhf2
— Carlos Guillermo Smith (@CarlosGSmith) May 20, 2023
Former Representative of the Florida House, Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) stated, “The DeSantis’ state government regime installed a puppet Board of Trustees at New College and invited a far-right commencement speaker for graduation. Things did not go well.”
In what some have called a “hostile takeover,” Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) “flipped the New College of Florida board of directors from woke indoctrinators to leaders of the fight against critical race theory, DEI, and radical gender theory in education” in early April. According to Team DeSantis, this is an effort to “break the cycle” of woke postsecondary curriculum.
“In Florida, Governor DeSantis is working tirelessly to end woke activism in our college classrooms and restore the tenants of a classical college education that made our system the envy of the world. And we cannot relent, because woke education is destroying America," stated the DeSantis team. They would go on to mention that "the days of universities teaching students the tools necessary to be good citizens of our republic are gone. We are no longer helping young minds to form their individual moral intuitions, to think critically, to understand their rights and responsibilities as American citizens."
Gov. DeSantis is expected to announce a presidential run next week.