Graduation ceremonies are usually fairly predictable. There’s some singing from the choir, chats about the future from school staff, boredom in the stands as everyone just waits for the one student they came to see walk on stage for five seconds, and, of course, there’s a nice, uplifting speech from the class’s valedictorian. That was not the case in San Ysidro.
“To my counselor, thank you for letting me fend for myself – you were always unavailable,” the San Ysidro High grad identified by News 8 only by her first name, Nataly, stated. “You expressed to me your joy in having one of your students be valedictorian when you had absolutely no role in my achievements.”
The speech, which began like most do with Nataly stating to the staff, “Thank you for being so invested in your students’ education and well-being.” But Nataly then switched gears and unleashed on members of the school’s staff and administration.
“To the teacher that was regularly intoxicated during class this year, thank you for using yourself to teach these students about the dangers of alcoholism,” Nataly said while the crowd audibly gasped.
Yeah, that really happened.
When asked why she gave the speech, Nataly read News 8 the following statement:
“The first half of the speech wasn’t shown on social media posts. In the beginning I recognized and thanked those who I believe went above and beyond for the students. I understand that those I criticized may be facing personal issues, but I don’t think that should affect their commitments or the school’s responsibility to fulfill those commitments. I didn’t expect for change to come from my speech, but I was hoping it would encourage more students to speak up.”
Naturally, the school district wasn’t all that pleased.
“It’s unfortunate that the words of a student like this are taking away from the positive. There are a lot of teachers working very hard for our students it’s unfortunate that she decided to air grievances,” Manuel Rubio, spokesperson for the Sweetwater Union High School District, told the TV station.
Watch the story with clips from the speech below: