During the commencement for the University of Florida class of 2018, a school administrator was seen aggressively pushing Black students off the stage as they celebrated. Video of the physical assault was posted to Twitter and received so much backlash, the university’s president was forced to issue an apology.
On Saturday, graduating seniors walked across the stage upon hearing their name. Although many students spent several seconds on stage doing a bit or a dance, it appeared only the Black students were manhandled, reported the Gainesville Sun.
Christopher Garcia-Wilde, 22, told the local paper the students of color who were celebrating in their own “cultural tradition” were pushed off the stage.
“Both of my friends wanted to celebrate by strolling, which is a cultural tradition in historically black fraternities and sororities,” he told The Sun. “...It’s a tradition to stroll at graduation if you choose to, and people have been doing it for years."
A UF spokeswoman, Margot Winick, told the Gainesville Sun that school officials are looking into the incident.
“The university just regrets that the acts of those who were monitoring the lineup could dampen the spirits of the day,” Winick said.
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