What SHE said

June 5, 2009 at 12:10 pm 10 comments


Free-speech fuckery!!

The valedictorian of Springstead High School in lurrrvly Spring Hill, Florida penned herself a positively whimsical, witty and wholly entertaining jemlugovaledictorian speech and was feeling several kinds of justifiably wonderful about her word choices — until a couple of intellectual inbreds brought the hell naw and commanded a rewrite.

“I was shocked,” Jem Lugo said. “It’s not what I had expected.”

Not what she expected because she’d written a speech she felt honored her class and gave them something special. Was it a little ‘Inside Baseball’? Maybe — but if the audience gets it isn’t that, you know, like THE POINT?!?

She sent copies to some students and got positive feedback.
“[They] enjoyed my speech. They got the inside jokes. They connected with it.”

And with that you’d think the super-speech trifecta would be in play.
You’d be wrong.

“The valedictorian speech is a reflection over the past four years of a student’s life,” Principal Susan Duval said. “It’s about what direction the class is going in the future.”
::: Really? And, now just where would I find the stone that’s written on?? :::

She called Lugo a “very bright young lady with a bright future,” [Ed Note: Umm helloooooo – THAT is a given – that hot slut’s HARVARD-bound!] but said the race for valedictorian was “very tight.”
::: *sniff* do I smell a thinly-veiled threat? :::

“A lot of kids could’ve been up there speaking,” she said.
::: *sniff  SNIFF * :::

Lugo recalled a faculty advisor telling her that if she didn’t write a more appropriate speech, someone else would be chosen.
::: *SNIFF* hold the ‘thinly-veiled’ :::

Superintendent Wayne Alexander admitted he hadn’t actually, you know, like read the speech or anything, but said the school was justified in strong-arming its star student into rewriting it.
::: Teach the children – teach them well … to fucking do what their fucking told …:::

“I can see the inappropriateness of such a speech,” he said after a portion was read to him over the phone. “I can see that clearly … Graduation is a significant day in the lives of students and their families. It should be treated with the respect and significance it deserves.”
::: Actually, it’s mostly a day for opening cards stuffed with money from relatives and an evening of underage partying … but maybe that was just my experience??? :::

So did she go with her original speech or did she cave to The Man and read a rewrite at last night’s commencement ceremonies??
::: Enquiring minds wanna know! :::

She caved.
I haz sadz …

She went down – but at least she went down swinging — in the only way a high school senior not yet aware of her real power can.
She felt the words she was forced to write amounted to nothing more than a textbook speech — so she gave it a textbook reading.
::: she did manage to get in some verbal jabs –  the kid’s got promise, yo! :::

“The most important thing that I could think to tell you tonight is to remember where you came from,” she told her classmates. “Stay true to who you are and who you have become throughout the past four years. Do not conform your values or your personality for the sake of anyone else’s … Do not relinquish your individuality to correspond with the common standard.”

She should know …

(Thanks for the heads up on this one TW!!)

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No. Sleep. ‘Till. BROOKLYN! A senior moment … of AWESOME

10 Comments

  • 1. Chris  |  June 5, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    What a crock o’ shit!! I graduated 13 years ago (good Lord I’m old) and I still remember parts of the valedictorian’s speech. I don’t remember the boring “be all you can be” parts. I remember listening to him bust teacher’s asses for what they REALLY taught us. i.e.The gym teacher for teaching us 30 different ways to do sit-ups & the drivers ed teacher for teaching us how to hold our coffee between our knees while we steered with 7 fingers. And then there was the shop teacher who had the other 7 fingers taken care of.

    I was hoping this story would end with her agreeing to give their shitty speech and at the last moment, she whipped out the original and gave ’em hell. But I suppose that by the time she gave her speech, everyone knew what had happened. The lines that you quoted had to give her a good giggle.

  • 2. Chris  |  June 5, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I sure do hope that comment posted. *laughs*

  • 3. Davis  |  June 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    looking forward (not) to the one I’ll be hearing at my son’s graduation tomorrow

  • 4. Type Writer  |  June 5, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    No problem, Cookie; when it popped up on Yahoo! News I thought it seemed like something you’d want to know about. But I’m surprised your Tampa correspondent fill you in on this; whatever you’re paying her, it’s clearly too much 🙂

    TW

  • 5. lifeisacookie  |  June 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I was hoping the same thing Chris! I started reading about her situation after TW tipped me off yesterday (the Tampa contingent didn’t come through 😉 ) and then I waited until late last night to find out if she’d given the one we all hoped.
    I think I felt almost as let down as her peers probably did – but not for the same reason.
    I was hoping she’d give her original speech because she will always (always) regret not doing it.
    If nothing else, I hope this experience will make her a powerful advocate for her OWN voice — and that she uses that voice for something awesome.

    The administrators in that county should be ashamed.
    Censorship is lame.

  • 6. lifeisacookie  |  June 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Davis — I hope whatever speech you hear is creative and thought-provoking.

    I heard a WONDERFUL one by Amy Goodman last week at The Cooper Union ceremony in New York. She brought me to tears. Twice.

  • 7. Type Writer  |  June 5, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    The best part is, no one has said what was so horrible about her first speech. Were the admins really offended by some inside jokes or did she bust the chops of some teacher?

    TW
    p.s. Tell the Tampa Cookie that if I have to man her desk as well as mine, then I’m gonna have to get two paychecks 🙂

  • 8. Noni  |  June 5, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    If you click on the words valedictorian speech in the second line you can read it — I can’t see what’s so bad about it either.

  • 9. Type Writer  |  June 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for helping me find what was right in front of my face, Noni 🙂 I think the administrators should have had to explain exactly what it was about this girl’s speech that offended them, because, frankly, I can’t see it. But I guess the free publicity is an excellent start for a brilliant literary career, and maybe when she’s rich and famous she can buy her old school and turn it into a dog park…

    TW

  • 10. lifeisacookie  |  June 9, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    what a stellar idea, TW!!


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