Valedictorian’s graduation speech cut off by school administrators

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EXETER, Penn. — One Pennsylvania valedictorian’s graduation speech is grabbing national attention after he was stopped from finishing his monologue.

Peter Butera donned his green and gold for one final time last Friday, preparing to address his class and leave them with his final thoughts.

As their valedictorian, Butera prepared a speech he hoped would garner himself attention, but he couldn’t have dreamt exactly how much attention it would get him.

Butera started out his speech by thanking his family and several teachers who made a difference in his life.

“Throughout my time at Wyoming Area, I have pursued every leadership opportunity available to me. In addition to being a member of Student Council since I was a freshman, my classmates have elected me Class President the past 4 years, which has been the greatest honor and I would like to thank you all for that one final time, it really means a lot. I would sadly discover however, that the title of Class President could more accurately be Class Party Planner, and Student Council’s main obligation is to paint signs every week. I’m not sure when actual student government at our school became extinct, but it must be brought back.  Despite some of the outstanding people in this school, a lack of real student government and the authoritative nature that a few administrators, teachers and a few board members have prevents students from truly developing as leaders. Hopefully in the future, this will change,” Butera said, as his microphone was cut off.

Butera says it is actually ironic that school administrators chose to cut him off during that portion of the speech.

Here is the rest of his speech, which he was not allowed to say to his classmates:

“Hopefully for the sake of future students, more people of authority within this school will prioritize the empowering of students as well as preparing them to further their educations. Because at the end of the day, it is not what we have done as Wyoming Area students or athletes that will define our lives, but what we will go on to do as Wyoming Area Alumni. And I hope that every one of my fellow classmates here today, as well as myself, will go on to do great things in this world, and find true happiness and success. Thank you all for coming out to this great celebration today.”

Butera will begin his college career at Villanova University in the fall.

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