Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Monday blasted American universities for having “abandoned truth” in trying to protect students from hate speech, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
"More than a few institutions have been unwilling to provide a forum for their students to discuss serious policy matters that affect our country. I can and have found other forums, but what about students who cannot?" DeVos said in a speech for high school and college students at the National Constitution Center for Constitution Day.
She said that school faculty, "too often attempt to shield students from ideas they subjectively decide are hateful or offensive or injurious, or ones they just don't like. This patronizing practice assumes students are incapable of grappling with, learning from, or responding to ideas with which they disagree."
"Solutions won't come from new laws from Washington, D.C., or from a speech police at the U.S. Department of Education," DeVos continued, urging the attendees to "develop an interior life. Be still, pray, reflect, review, contemplate."
"It's easy to be nasty hiding behind screens and Twitter handles. It's not so easy when we are face to face.”
During the question-and-answer section, one student asked DeVos why President Donald Trump hasn’t followed that advice.
DeVos responded: "the separation that occurs between someone who puts something out on social media without really considering the receiving end of that communication doesn't help with the overall discourse."
The student told Bloomberg afterwards: "It just seems like our current president is the prime example of hiding behind Twitter handles. So I wanted to ask her, if she feels this way, why isn't it coming out in the other levels of our government?"
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