Petaluma High School valedictorian veers off script, has mic silenced

Student Speaks Up About Sexual Assault at High School Valedictory Function Authorities Cut the Mic Watch Viral Video

Lulabel Seitz, 17, was delivering her speech at a graduation ceremony at Petaluma High School in Northern California.

Petaluma High School senior Lulabel Seitz was the first member of her family to graduate high school and did so as her class' valedictorian, The (Santa Rosa, Calif.) Press Democratreported. "They pulled me out of my last class in high school to say 'You can't speak about how we treat sexual assault victims, '" she said.

A video of the address shows that around four minutes in, the microphone was cut, seemingly as Ms Seitz began speaking about her own sexual assault experience.

"Even learning on a campus where some people defend perpetrators of sexual assault and silence their victims, we didn't let that drag us down", as she continues her speech.

The teenager claims her school continually censors students, adding, "It wasn't an easy thing to do to get up there and say what I sad - or tried to say". The teen, who will attend Stanford University in the fall, had been giving an uplifting speech on following your dreams and making an impact in the world.

She continued, but would soon have her microphone cut off.

Moments later, her peers and people in the crowd started chanting "Let her speak!" Seitz said, "I thought about that a lot, if I'm going to be quiet about this, that's really sad...because it'll just keep persisting".

Students were warned that if they veered off script, their mics would be cut, he told the Post.

But administrators didn't suspend or expel the student, she said, and instead encouraged her to drop it.

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"Her approved speech didn't include any reference to an assault", he tells the Washington Post.

"I didn't think I'd be standing here as your valedictorian", she said.

Petaluma high principal told the San Francisco Chronicle that the school was trying to make sure the graduation ceremony was appropriate and handsome.

"They told me not to speak about it", Seitz said.

Seitz was told that her speech had to be pre-approved, and anything negative in her draft would have barred her from speaking. "Sometimes we know what's right and have to do it".

Stirrat said the students were welcome to include potentially controversial material in their speeches.

The school's assistant principal told the teen "the expectation is that the speech you submitted is the speech you will give", the Press Democrat reported.

"If the school is providing the forum, then the school has the ability to have some control over the message", he said. But school administrators occasionally cross what scholars have called legal lines, including some who threatened students planning to partake in anti-gun protests with discipline in the wake of the Parkland school shooting.

Still, Seitz said throughout the process, administrators appeared to want to protect themselves, and not students. According to a Google Plus profile, she was a trumpet soloist in the school's jazz band and a school treasurer. She is the granddaughter of a single mother.

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