High school cuts short valedictorian's speech about being sexually assaulted


In a video of her speech, some audience members are heard chanting, "Let her speak!".

Lulabel Seitz, 17, a valedictorian at Petaluma High School in Petaluma, California, says her mic was shut off after she began talking about sexual assaults on campus.

Seitz said she was "appalled" that the school had pulled the plug on her address, though officials said all speakers had been warned the microphone would be muted if they went off message.

Lulabel Seitz was a few minutes into her speech when her mic suddenly went silent. But that doesn't help.

Her next sentence begns, "The class of 2018 has demonstrated time and time again that we may be a new generation, but we are not too young to speak up, to dream and to create change. Which is why, even when some people on this campus, those same people.", her mic was cut. "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. The person was known to her. About four minutes into her speech, Seitz began to talk about sexual assault allegations at the school.

In a statement, school officials told the San Francisco Chronicle they could not comment due to student privacy issues.

Seitz completed three years of college classwork at two nearby schools while in high school and was involved in student government, the Press Democrat reported.

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According to Seitz, "they do this a lot, they make students be quiet", whenever anyone is openly critical of the school.

"Throughout my whole case, the administrators told me their jobs were on the line", she said. "We certainly would have considered such an addition, provided no individuals were named or defamed", he said. She noted that her high school has a track record for censoring students.

A high school valedictorian was abruptly cut off mid-speech by school administrators just as she was about to mention alleged sexual assaults on campus and how the school allegedly failed to take victims' accounts seriously. Time and time again, the Class of 2018 has demonstrated that although we may be a new generation, we are not too young to speak up, to dream, and to create tangible, positive change. Even after four years of working our hardest and becoming the best class Petaluma High has ever seen, just to be told be those same some people that our love of learning, art, drama, music - anything - wasn't valuable enough to be funded, well, we didn't let that drag us down either.

School principal David Stirrat still maintains that the decision to cut Seitz's mic was the right one, as they wanted to "make sure our graduation ceremony was appropriate and lovely", per the Chronicle. I wasn't going to do it because they kept scaring me and threatening me.

"We're all celebrating us leaving, you know?"

"This is about the bigger problem, not only about what I experienced".

She says her message has gotten a lot of positive feedback, but she's also some blowback because of the place she chose to deliver it.