"She was allowed to speak and the students did what you are supposed to do when you're protesting a speaker," Goldberg said. "You're not supposed to say you can't come, but you are allowed to protest."
"It read as disrespectful to me," said Bila, who added she did understand why there was backlash against DeVos. "I argued against her being confirmed, but my thing is, if we're sitting at this table and you say something I disagree with and I go 'Boooo!' and turn around like this the entire show, to me that's rude."
"Turning your back is perfectly legitimate," Behar added, "that means I do not want to see you and hear you. I don't need the booing, the booing defeats the purpose of hearing the crazy stuff she's gonna come out with. But turn your back, perfectly legitimate."
Haines agreed with that sentiment, adding, "For the people that showed up and it was about something else for them, their graduation and pride, your protest interferes with their experience as well, so the turning around would fix that."
Haines then cited Michael Lomax, the president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, who tweeted he believed the school "should hear Secretary DeVos just as we want her and President Trump to hear the voices of HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities]."
The one problem with that, in Whoopi's eyes: "the bottom line is that they haven't, and that's why they're booing!"
"I'm sorry, call me a bonehead I am a bonehead, but when you are the head of Education and you don't know that black colleges were not a freaking choice, they were created because there was no choice, you don't have any business going there," Goldberg added.
Whoopi was referencing DeVos' comments from February, when she said HBCUs were "real pioneers when it comes to school choice," when in reality they were founded because black students couldn't attend the same schools as whites.
Hostin, who's on the Board of Trustees as Dillard University, added that "going to college is a spiritual thing for our community because for so long we were not allowed to be educated."
She went on to call DeVos' invitation to speak as "a slap in the face to the community," putting some of the blame on the school itself.
"That was a very poor choice," added Goldberg. "Those kids had to voice their opinions about someone who didn't know anything about where they were and that's not good. That's supposed to be a good time."
"I was grateful for the opportunity to speak with and honor the graduates of Bethune-Cookman University," DeVos said in a statement following the speech. "I have respect for all those who attended, including those who demonstrated their disagreement with me."