High School Valedictorian's Mic Cut When She Talks About Campus Sexual Assault
11 June, 2018, 23:22 | Author: Myra Gill
"We're all here today, and we're graduating", was the opening line of Seitz's speech Saturday as valedictorian of Petaluma High School in Petaluma, California, NBC Bay Area reported. "Which is why even when some people on this campus, those same people -".
However, about four minutes into her speech, her microphone was abruptly cut off by school officials.
Ms Seitz - a member of student government who played trumpet in jazz band and kept a Grade Point Average of over 4.0 - said administrators warned her not to "speak against them" in her speech.
When her classmates realized what was happening, they began chanting, "Let her speak!".
The valedictorian admits she was told that certain topics were off-limits.
Before she could complete her speech, Seitz's mic went dead.
"When they cut my mic, I was appalled at them", Seitz told the Press Democrat. She told KPIX that she was sexually assaulted by another student, and when she reported the assault to high school officials, they did not take any action.
"I didn't think I'd be standing here as your valedictorian", she said.
"They tried to silence her - don't you understand sexual assault victims will be silenced no more???" she added.
Lulabel Seitz says she went off of an approved script, so administrators cut her microphone.
David Rose, the assistant superintendent for student services at Petaluma City Schools, refuted Seitz's version of the story, telling BuzzFeed: "Many of the assertions that Ms. Seitz is making do not match our perspective". The school did not let her finish her speech. "We can say that when issues of sexual assault come to our attention, local law enforcement has initial jurisdiction and determines the course of action", the school district said. "And she was kind of taking it off into what happened to her".
"In Lulabel's case, her approved speech didn't include any reference to an assault", he said.
But the night before commencement, as she watched Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, the teen told of being inspired to speak up. "Sometimes we know what's right and have to do it despite the threats".
"It wasn't easy to get up there and say what I said, or tried to say", Seitz explained.
Furthermore, it is truly the journey we took to get here that makes the Class of 2018 unlike its predecessors. It helps that we had the support of compassionate and dedicated teachers, friends, parents, counselors, custodians, and librarians throughout the years.
"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. She's also the first person in her family to graduate from high school.
Others say the graduation ceremony was not the right time to speak out. As such, we will never be forgotten.
Actress Mira Sorvino has tweeted about the incident, saying Ms Seirz is a "a fierce truth teller".
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