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Valedictorian Thanks Alcoholic Teacher and Others

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Replies to: Valedictorian Thanks Alcoholic Teacher and Others

  • tpike12tpike12 502 replies9 threads Member
    @cavitee - good observation, not sure if people that were there have confirmed the speech occurred as heard on the video.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 1079 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Obnoxious.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 2255 replies28 threads Senior Member
    Classless. Entitled. Her delivery wasn't very good either.
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  • compmomcompmom 11896 replies82 threads Senior Member
    My kid read a speech at graduation (I forget if she was val or sal) and gave a humorous history of the class, including their 5th grade playground strike. It is a sentimental time and a time to pull together to remember before moving on.

    That said, this school could have been ours. When the same daughter walked across the stage, and was supposed to shake the hand of an abusive assistant principal, she didn't, and it was pretty obvious from the seats.

    We did online courses to avoid teachers who were too lazy to teach. We had a drug addict, a science teacher who came into school in a tux when he hadn't done laundry (would have been funny if he could actually teach), a history teacher who talked about himself in every class and graded all work with an A so no one every complained (psychopath), a physics teacher who slept in another room (the kids taught themselves) and I could go on and on.

    At least our kids learned to fend for themselves, as this young woman said, and that meant being resourceful in college and life. Perhaps her comments weren't as sarcastic as they seemed (doubtful) because it really is true that schools with incompetent or negligent staff do teach the kids some valuable lessons.

    Not that it would be my choice for a high school experience.

    I really don't know how I feel about this speech. I have to think about it. As a parent, I will say that my kids and I complained and had some effect. In fact I believe we got one teacher fired and one teacher put on mental health leave. I think it would be better to address these personnel issues in another setting. But it would be perfectly possible that they tried and this is the only way.

    Perhaps this could have been a speech about education reform. Public school teachers should not have tenure!!!!

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  • jmeryllmanjmeryllman 66 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I can see the next step, no more valedictory speeches. As more people want to go viral, I can see schools taking the safer route.
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  • jym626jym626 57823 replies3031 threads Senior Member
    The A/V guy shoul have been told to cut the mic.
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  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 314 replies1 threads Member
    My daughter gives her speech tomorrow. I bet all the student speakers will be closely watched...
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  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 314 replies1 threads Member
    I’m mixed about Nataly Buhr’s speech partly because I didn’t experience what she went through and partly because I’m a former teacher. When I spoke at HS graduation, my AP English teacher submitted my first draft to administration, but then he aided and abetted me in making it more humorous and adding a well-deserved barb about our district’s much-publicized book banning.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 25006 replies20 threads Senior Member
    I agree that schools will just stop with the student speeches.

    Should students get to come out at their religious high school graduations? Is it about the student or the class? Are the students not guests at the ceremony?
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  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom 1963 replies10 threads Senior Member
    I'm of two minds here. She was being honest about her experience in high school, and the memories that were formed - both for herself and for her classmates. While some of her comments were jarring, they were clearly things that needed to be said by someone. Perhaps whoever was in charge of the A/V recognized that they needed to be said, and perhaps this graduate was the person in the best position to do so. Perhaps the administration had their hands tied regarding many of these people, and a very public shaming is the only thing that will move the school board. And in fairness, she named several teachers who had a positive influence earlier in her speech.

    Many of us have suffered through teachers and staff like this, or watched as our children did. Many of us watched as those same teachers seemed to never face consequences. These speeches are often a result of someone not doing their job, holding students accountable, but not the adults around them. I imagine in a district where salaries are low, and resources are tight, it is difficult to recruit good teachers, and maybe this is what's needed to highlight just how inadequate some of them are.

    Case in point - my daughter attends a STEM magnet school, which one would hope attracts some of the best STEM teachers around. But between administration attitudes and Board of Ed policies, there are some serious deficiencies. Two years ago, the main chemistry teacher left, and his position was filled by a new teacher who on paper looked fantastic. She has a doctorate, and had taught at RPI, though never before at the HS level. She didn't "teach" and was the subject of countless parent complaints, then in January was absent more often than not due to a family situation. By May her contract was not renewed. A few months later, she was hired to teach at another HS in the district, because nobody else was available. Meanwhile phenomenal guidance counselors were let go because they didn't have tenure, and kids who had already been through 3 counselors in 2 years had yet another new counselor who landed at their school not because she wanted to be there, but because her position was eliminated, and this was the job that was still available.
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  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 314 replies1 threads Member
    @socaldad2002, I caught the grammatical error, too. And I agree that the val speech could be connected to our universal experiences and not entirely focused on the one student’s experiences.
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  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 6964 replies143 threads Senior Member
    CTScoutmom wrote:
    She didn't "teach" and was the subject of countless parent complaints
    What DID she do? as re teaching?
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  • gouf78gouf78 7900 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    So I read the reactions here before watching the video. I expected something earth shattering. Didn’t happen.

    I’m mixed. I’m not sure the purpose of a valedictorian speech anyway. They’re always lame.

    Obviously when a student (or anyone) gives a speech they don’t plan on being viral on YouTube.
    I wouldn’t have pulled the plug on this speech btw.

    It was a personal speech. How “inspiring “ can a kid be to their class without really sounding fake and full of cliches? So she went personal. She’s pretty young to have “universal” experiences. Like any good writer—write what you know.

    She thanked a lot of teachers and her parents by name.
    Then took the “what I learned” tack. Again said nice things.
    Some lessons are learned in a negative manner as often happens. Pretty short and sweet. No names named. Obviously everyone knew the alcoholic teacher because that was obviously a big deal—the police showed up for goodness sake. Probably in local newspapers too. Not a secret in the least by audience reaction.

    edited June 2019
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  • gouf78gouf78 7900 replies24 threads Senior Member
    I knew some grammar police would show up. Guess that invalidates the message.
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  • pilot2012pilot2012 246 replies2 threads Junior Member
    So, I guess in the era of "self-care" it would be perfectly acceptable if I loudly booed this young lady, right? Heckling and some catcalling? It's all good. I, mean, full disclosure, I don't agree with her so it's okay cause it's all about me, you know?

    Had an extremely hard time listening to this self-indulgent claptrap. Feel sorry for this young lady that this is her forever public. Appalling crowning moments? Ridiculing someone's addiction (and I'll go ahead and presume that this teacher really doesn't want to wake up feeling the compelling need to drink and that alcoholism is a disease) and hearing the widespread joy in the public shaming.

    Is there a place in society for humility and grace anymore?



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