Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Luzerne County valedictorian speech grabs national headlines

Valedictorian’s rogue speech cut off by principal — but he gets to finish it for way bigger audience Luzerne County valedictorian speech grabs national headlines
Francis Olson | 21 June, 2017, 20:22

One local graduate's valedictorian speech is grabbing some national attention.

As valedictorian and class president Peter Butera gave his graduation speech to the Wyoming Area class of 2017, he criticized the school's "authoritative attitude".

However, Butera's speech, which called out staff and administration, was cut in the middle, due to making unauthorized changes from his previously submitted and approved speech.

"Despite some of the outstanding people in this school, a lack of real student government - and the authoritative nature that a few administrators and school members have - prevents students from developing as true leaders' Butera said during his speech".

Some in the crowd shouted, "Let him speak", and he got a standing ovation from students when he left the stage. "I don't think it could have gone any better".

Image source You Tube screenshot
Image source You Tube screenshot

Butera is planning to enroll at Villanova University, where he will pursue a degree in business administration.

"At our school, the title of "Class President" could more accurately be "Class Party Planner" and student council's man obligation is to paint signs every week", Butera said, before his mic was silenced and school Principal Dr. Jon Pollard escorted him off the stage at Sobieski Stadium. "Hopefully in the future, this will change", Butera said, as his microphone was cut off.

At that point audio was cut. And now, Peter Butera.

"I'm extremely proud of my son about what he did at graduation, and I'm proud of how he has handled the media blitz", Michael Butera said. Still, she says student input is important, so she's scheduled a meeting with Butera about how things might improve in the district.

An 18-year-old student from Pennsylvania knew his school's administration wasn't interested in giving students the space they need to grow as human beings, but what he might not have expected was how they would react once he made his dislike for their approach public.

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