California high school student's mic cut during sexual assault speech

Elias Hubbard
June 11, 2018

She later told KPIX she felt compelled to speak on the subject because she herself had been sexually assaulted by another student-which she says the school didn't act on when she reported it; in a statement, the school cited "privacy issues" and wouldn't go into detail on her claim.

"They told me to be quiet; told me I can't talk about it", she continued.

Dave Rose, an assistant superintendent said cutting of Seitz's mic wasn't an infringement of her freedom of speech. "She had the opportunity to display her message to all of us, but we were there just to celebrate leaving and she's taking it off into what happened to her", Nick Mall, another graduate of Petaluma High School.

Her academic accolades gave her the honor of being the valedictorian at Petaluma High School in California, which allowed her to give a commencement speech during her graduation on June 2. When she began to segue into the sexual assault issue, administrators cut her microphone. She noted that her high school has a track record for censoring students. She said that she was the granddaughter of immigrants from the Philippines, and the child of two parents who left high school early and didn't go to college. A few seconds later, students and people in the crowd began chanting, "Let her speak!".

She posted the actual speech - as well as the rest of what she was planning to say - on YouTube.

Petaluma High School senior Lulabel Seitz was the first member of her family to graduate high school and did so as her class' valedictorian, The (Santa Rosa, Calif.) Press Democratreported. The valedictorian-who regularly participates in speaking competitions-found no written copy of her speech at the podium as she had been promised, so she delivered it as much as possible from memory. "Sometimes we know what's right and have to do it despite the threats".

Seitz said, "We have all had unlikely dreams, and overcome obstacles to achieve them, because adversity isn't the rare, monumental idea we made it out to be in our freshman year English essays". "I was just saying some people, it was very vague", she said.

In a video of the incident, the teen is visibly upset as she yells inaudible words to someone off camera.

"In Lulabel's case, her approved speech didn't include any reference to an assault", he said.

"This is about the bigger problem, not only about what I experienced". "But, where she did it may not have been the best place for it", he said.

"They told me not to speak about it", Seitz said.

She ended up returning to her seat, and later posted her full speech online, including the part that was cut off: "Even learning on a campus on which some people defend perpetrators of sexual assault and silence their victims, we didn't let that drag us down".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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