Graduation Uproar as Black University of Florida Students Say They Were Yanked Offstage During Diploma Ceremony
Critics called out the school for not exhibiting the same aggressive behavior toward white students.
Some students at the University of Florida celebrated getting their degrees by dancing, which resulted in a forceful removal from the stage.
A college official was seen rushing in and aggressively hauling one student away in front of 10,000 spectators as he celebrated the achievement of his diploma with a dance.
It also happened to two other graduates, including one who did a back flip after getting the degree.
University officials say they wanted to keep the ceremony flowing and the students who danced took up too much time. But graduates Oliver Telusma and Nafeesha Attah believe they were singled out because of their race.
Oliver Telusma was onstage for mere seconds before he was dragged away.
Nafeesah Attah was also forcibly shoved offstage for the same reason.
"It was only towards the end when more of the black graduates were coming on stage that it began to get a lot more aggressive in the nature on how they were treating black students," she told Inside Edition.
When Inside Edition looked through the video of the graduation ceremony we found white student dancing uninterrupted and also black students dancing across the stage untouched.
But the university's president, Kent Fuchs, later apologized.
"We inappropriately physically rushed a bunch of students across the stage at one of our commencements," Fuchs admitted. "I want to personally apologize for us doing that on behalf of myself and also the University of Florida. I want you all our students to know that we've changed that practice and we want each of you to know that we celebrate you."
But Attah said the apology is too little, too late.
"It would have been a lot more sincere and effective if it happened while it was taking place. He was on stage, literally feet away, from those of us students who were getting pushed and did absolutely nothing to stop it," she told Inside Edition.
The university president personally called each of the students who were rushed off the stage but at least one of the grads says he won’t be satisfied until the school official who took action against him is fired.
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