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Official Pull Plug When Graduates Speech Critizes School

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by White Rain, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. White Rain

    White Rain Active Member

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    I agree with the school on the one. This wasn't the time or place for her do to what she did.

    LINWOOD, N.J. — A student intending to make a speech criticizing school administrators at her high school graduation was cut off in mid-sentence and told to leave the ceremony.
    Jennifer Chau, the salutatorian at Mainland Regional High School, started to criticize the school administration Thursday night for allegedly playing favorites among students. She scrapped a text that was approved in advance by the school.
    "I know this is a community that values education," she said. "That is why you need to know what is really going on behind the walls of Mainland's administrat-"
    At that point, Chau's microphone was cut off and school principal Robert Blake told her she would have to leave.
    Chau left to chants of "Let her speak!" and "Finish!"
    The Georgetown University-bound senior had a dispute with the school over not receiving credit for an honors class she took in her freshman year. She claims that was one reason she finished second in her graduating class, behind a student whose mother is a member of the board of education.
    more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,369641,00.html
     
  2. FLMom

    FLMom Former Member

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    Ya know WhiteRain, I see where you're coming from about it not being the time or the place, but what better way to reach an audience of nothing but parents of not only graduates, but future graduates of that school?

    I've got a skewed view probably because of what my daughter went through. She had a full scholarship to a state university. Even quit band for her senior year to be sure she got all her credits in. Halfwway through the school year they informed her that they made an "oopsie" and forgot to add her to a class for the second semester that was the .5 that she needed for a FULL ride. By the time they realized it, the class roster was already full.

    She ended up with a trade scholarship to a community college instead. Full ride there, yes (thank the good Lord), but it's NOT a state university and we'll still have to go through that after another year of community college.

    Yeah, not that I'm BITTER or anything. . . . :furious:

    So, if this girl had the rug yanked out from under her, then I'm glad she did what she did.
     
  3. bnhall

    bnhall Former Member

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    That almost happened to me. Because I took a summer school class, my GPA was lower than the person I was tied with for Valedictorian. It worked that way because certain classes were assigned higher values, i.e. "weighted classes." His mom was on the school board and did everything in her power to try to keep me from being co-Valedictorian. Someone else on the board figured out what she was doing and let my family know. We had no idea that it was an issue. It was ridiculous that I would be punished for taking an extra class! Driver's ed, at that. Come to find out, the reason he didn't take driver's ed was to try to be sole Valedictorian. My grandpa went to the school and had a talk with the principal and the superintendent. He let them know that we knew what they were trying to do. The school board voted in the next session that classes taken in summer school would not count against a student's GPA when figuring Valedictorian and Salutatorian.

    If I would have gotten screwed like this girl did, you better believe I would have said something during my speech. I would want everyone to know what had happened. I would have made sure that every single parent knew that the school board and the administration couldn't be trusted. Embarrassing them in front of the entire town would have probably ensured they never tried to pull that again.
     
  4. bnhall

    bnhall Former Member

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    I wanted to add one thing:

    The biggest lesson I learned in HS is that you can never, ever trust that the authority has your best interest at heart. I can give you pages of examples. The sad thing is that, ten years later, I've had no indication that I am wrong about this.

    (I'm talking about school and work stuff - no disrespect to the mods here).
     
  5. Peace261

    Peace261 Peace261

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    School administration looked bad on this one .... however ... it was also a lesson learned for the scholar that we live in a country that protects "free speech" ... within limits ... especially at school and educational sponsored events.
     
  6. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    Much more about this young woman and her speech at this link as well as photos of her graduating.

    http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/179/story/187194.html

    LINWOOD - For the second time in recent years, the final lesson learned by graduating students at Mainland Regional High School was that for high schoolers, freedom of speech doesn't fully apply.

    Jennifer Chau wanted to critique her soon-to-be alma mater in her salutatorian speech at Thursday's graduation, but her microphone was cut and she was escorted from the field after she strayed from her pre-approved text - a decision she said she didn't even tell her parents about.
    ------

    She also claimed that her request to start an Asian club wasn't granted for years, while similar requests from students with familial or other connections were immediately granted. As an example, she gave a group whose founder was Janice Ojserkis' nephew.
     
  7. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    I think the fact that they made her leave without finishing pretty much proves everything she tried to say about them. They should be ashamed of themselves. This is America, after all!
     
  8. Peace261

    Peace261 Peace261

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    This is a VERY BRIGHT young girl with an amazing and exciting career ahead of her .... on full scholarship to GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY!

    Say what you will about middle school bullies and high school ADMINISTRATIVE restrictions ... the truth of the matter is that this young scholar has a real chance of making a difference for her family, for her cultural background, for herself, and in the world in general. College and beyond is where young minds explore, grow, and prosper to bigger and brighter hights.

    She should be proud of being #1 or #2 in her high school class and look forward to what awaits her outside of the restrictive walls of a high school.

    My short advice to this young girl and her graduation class:

    Think positive .... think out of the box ..... but continue to expand your horizons. As you grow ... it is very important to look ahead with excitment ..... always remember where you came from .... but do not let the challenges of growing up hold you back or keep you down ......

    We ALL have A story to tell on what did not go well for us in middle / high school.

    Peace.
     
  9. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    This girl is a better person than those who pulled strings and used connections to deny her what she had earned. She proved that there really is not free speech or civil rights at some schools. I'm glad she was mature and strong and willing to take a stand. I hope she goes on to give interviews, write about it, etc. Of course, it could follow her in her education and cause more problems.
     
  10. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    Sorry about your daughter..that sucks. My son was told that he wasn't going to graduate with his second degree about 3 weeks ahead of time because they weren't allowing something the university had already agreed upon as an advanced course. He pulled out the big guns. He told them that they DIDN'T want to mess with his mother :D...and that I had a copy of the paper where they had ALREADY signed off on the substitute course. I can't believe that he said he was going to call his Mommy to basically "beat them up"! LMAO!!!! BTW...I love your "spork thinks he is batman". That is too funny!!!:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  11. White Rain

    White Rain Active Member

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    I guess I am the only who feels her speech was innapropriate.
    I just don't think that was the place for it, as families came to see their loved ones graduate, not hear how bad the school was.
    And after all, it's not like an official could get up there and defend themselves. They could, but again, wasn't the time or place.
    I just feel that there are two sides to every story, we don't know the officials side. We don't know that things were the way the girl was suggested.
    I had trouble when it came time to graduate. I had had my first daughter my senior year, and to make sure I would pass I went back to school less than a week after I had my baby. The assistant principal called me into his office and said I did not need to be there, to go home and take my 6 weeks off. I picked up my schoolwork weekly at school, so I kept up with all that.
    Come the last day of school I was told I would not be graduating because I missed to many days of school. So I made a scene in the office and got it straightened out and I graduated. I would not have made a scene at graduation.
    I think this girl could have handled her grievances before school ended. If one person wouldn't listen to her, tell someone else, take it to the board of education, etc...
     
  12. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    No..I think it was inappropriate also.
     
  13. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I predict a bright future for this young lady! Cheers to loud-mouthed females everywhere who won't take BS lying down! :)
     
  14. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    I think she will too, but she was wrong for trying to do that at graduation. Their speeches must be approved and she was trying to do something against the rules. A graduation isn't the place to grind your ax. There is a time and place for everything, and this was neither.
     
  15. White Rain

    White Rain Active Member

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    Thank you! Glad to see someone else goes along with my POV!!!!
     
  16. Kiki

    Kiki New Member

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    I agree with you too. This girl may have had genuine grievances against her school but she had other options - talk online with other students with similar problems so they could approach the school together, address the school board herself, address the PTA, protest with placards outside the school gates, contact the local newspaper, write to the state board of education etc. Graduation is a celebration not a soapbox. Students have worked hard since they were 6 to get to that point in their lives. They have also made friends at their school who they have gone through their late adolescence together. During their school careers the students, along with their friends, have lost baby teeth, learned to read and write, learned tor ride a bike, worried about grades, discovered their talents and flaws, gone to proms, met their first loves, got their hearts broken, whined about parents, played sports, got pimples, learned to drive and all the other trials and tribulations of childhood, puberty and adolescence. Graduation is a celebration of not only the end of their schooling but the end of an important stage in their lives. It is also a celebration for their parents who gone through all that with them and are now facing an end to the day-to-day parenting of their child as he/she soon go off to college. It should have been a bittersweet time for all of them. I agree that students have free speech but I don't see why the school has to provide a public forum for student's tirades.
     
  17. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    Perhaps it wasn't the right forum, but this young woman tried to handle the situation did attempt to try and handle these issues directly with the admin. When the issues weren't resolved, is when she took the next step. Frankly, I would have handled it differently, but my way would have been WAY more PAINFUL and PUBLIC for the school.

    She wasn't willing to just accept the school's nepotism and was willing to speak up, I don't see that as a bad thing.
     
  18. Amraann

    Amraann Former Member

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    I agree that she was not as tactful as she could have been.
    Her speech at graduation was probably not the best time nor place to air her problems with the school ...
    BUT having dealt with crappy school systems I can totally understand why she took that approach.

    I think all the school did was give her more publicity so now she has an even larger audience.
     
  19. mostlylurking

    mostlylurking New Member

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    See, this is the saddest statement posted here. How sad that we have come to believe that this is the truth and that we accept and settle for it -- not just in schools but in life. It is why we have so many people protesting so much that is going on in the world in our country's name, when the majority of our citizens are not wanting to be represented in such a way.

    I am planning on running for school board in my district next February. I hope I can remember that there are many who feel what is said here. If children are given the opportunity to be heard, they will hopefully grow up to become citizens who are worth hearing.
     
  20. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    Hopefully, you'll win that election and you can do some good. I've seen some really disgusting stuff happen to children, GOOD KIDS, at school that has turned them off of higher education for life.
     

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