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Morehouse president will cease ceremonies if protesters shout down Biden

The president of Morehouse College has said he will cease ceremonies during the school’s Sunday graduation if there are major disruptions during President Biden’s scheduled commencement address. 

“What we won’t allow is disruptive behavior that prevents the ceremony or services from proceeding in a manner that those in attendance can partake and enjoy,” the school’s president David Thomas told CNN, giving the example of “prolonged shouting down of the president as he speaks.” 

“I have also made a decision that we will also not ask police to take individuals out of commencement in zip ties. If faced with the choice, I will cease the ceremonies on the spot if we were to reach that position,” Thomas said. 

Biden is making a stop at the historically Black, all-male college in Atlanta in the wake of campus protests across the country, as young progressives voice their frustration with the administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war. 

Some students and faculty reportedly raised concerns about the president’s visit, citing worries about protests — and that Biden’s speech could overshadow the graduation event. 

Steve Benjamin, head of the administration’s Office of Public Engagement, met with students ahead of the commencement to address those concerns.

“People have different thoughts about what they might want to hear,” Benjamin told reporters on Thursday. “We listened very closely. We received those messages, and we shared those with the president and his speech writing team.” 

The visit also comes as Biden works to reach young voters and Black voters amid signs that some in the critical voting blocs are souring on the party.

A week after Morehouse, Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks to the U.S. Military Academy for its May 25 commencement.

Source: The Hill

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