University of Florida apologizes for aggressively pulling black graduates off commencement stage

The University of Florida issued an apology after a faculty member was aggressively pulling black students off the stage at Saturday's commencement ceremony.

Videos posted to social media showed graduates on the arena’s Jumbotron taking roughly two to three seconds to either wave or celebrate after their names were called, only to be manhandled and roughly removed from the stage by a faculty member.

The videos have caused immediate uproar, since it appears that the unnamed faculty member was only being rough with black graduates.

"The University is proud of the achievements of every single one of our graduates and regrets that any celebration of the day may have been diminished by those monitoring a graduation ceremony," the school said in a tweet Saturday evening.   

University President W. Kent Fuchs also released a statement Sunday, saying the accused faculty member was "inappropriately aggressive."

"I personally apologize, and am reaching out to the students involved,” said Fuchs. "The practice has been halted for all future ceremonies, and we will work to make sure all graduating students know we are proud of their achievements and celebrate with them their graduation."

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.  

About The Author

Scroll to read more Orlando Area News articles
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.