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California valedictorian slams school staff at graduation

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San Ysidro High School valedictorian Nataly Buhr’s speech at her school’s graduation ceremony started normally enough.

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In a video of the address shared by CBS 8 in San Diego, Buhr’s thanked those who helped her along the way, including friends and family. She praised a few teachers at her San Diego-based high school by name and said they were “intelligent” and invested in their students’ education and well-being.

Then she changed course. After the niceties, Buhr slammed her counselor for being “unavailable.”

“Only in these past few weeks, with the award ceremonies and graduation coming up, did you begin making your appearance,” she said. “And might I note, you expressed to me your joy in knowing that one of your students was valedictorian when you had absolutely no role in my achievements.”

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Buhr wasn’t done. She said the main office staff taught her to be resourceful because of their “negligence to inform me of several scholarships until the day before they were due, potentially caused me to miss out of thousands of dollars.”

By then, Buhr’s audience of students was abuzz. She capped her speech with an address about “the teacher who was regularly intoxicated during class this year.”

That remark drew gasps from the crowd.

“Thank you for using yourself as an example to teach students about the dangers of alcoholism,” she said. “Being escorted by police out of school left a lasting impression. I hope that future students and staff learn from these examples.”

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She did not name the counselor or the teacher she said was intoxicated.

Manuel Rubio, a spokesperson for the Sweetwater Union High School District, told the San Diego Union-Tribune the speech was “inappropriate and out of line.”

“While we definitely welcome the concerns of students and their families regarding any situation at one of our schools, doing so in such a manner without any prior knowledge of this situation by the school, is not the right way of handling this,” Rubio said in an email to the newspaper. “Ultimately this takes away from what should have been a day of celebration for the school and their community.”

See the full speech here.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/06/13/nataly-buhr-california-valedictorian-slams-school-graduation/1451111001/



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