Valedictorian Has Microphone Cut Off During Graduation Speech After Criticizing School Administration

EXETER, Pa. (CBS) — A Pennsylvania high school valedictorian has his microphone cut off during his graduation speech after criticizing school administrators.

The Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice reports Peter Butera was giving his valedictorian speech at the Wyoming Area High School graduation when he made the remarks.

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“I don’t think it could have gone any better,” the 18-year-old graduate told The Citizens’ Voice. “I got my point across and them cutting the microphone proved my point to be true.”

Wyoming Area Superintendent Janet Serino explained to The Citizens’ Voice that Butera’s speech was vetted but he went off script.

“The speech was changed as it was being given,” Serino said.

Butera, the school’s class president, had his microphone cut when he talked about school officials’ alleged “authoritative attitude.”

“Despite some of the outstanding people in our school, the lack of a real student gov’t, combined with the authoritative attitude that a few teachers, administrators and board members have prevent students from truly developing as leaders. Hopefully, this will change,” Butera said, before his microphone was silenced.

Some in the crowd shouted, “Let him speak,” and he got a standing ovation from students when he left the stage.

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School Board President Beth Gober-Mangan said the administration made the right decision.

“It does look bad but nobody knew where he was going with it,” Gober-Mangan told The Citizens’ Voice. “The whole situation took me by surprise.”

Butera posted his full speech to Facebook after graduation.

He will be attending Villanova University in the fall.

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