Fil-Am high school valedictorian’s speech cut off after mention of sexual assault

Mounting pressure on a high school in Petaluma, California after it cut off a speech from its Fil-Am valedictorian, who expressed critical views against the campus for its handling of her alleged sexual assault on campus.

“But we are not too young to speak up to dream and to make change, which is why even when some people on this campus, those same people…. *mic cut off*”

Last June 2nd, 17-year-old Lulabel Seitz’s speech was cut off for going off script. Crowd members then proceeded to rally for Seitz, chanting “let her speak.”

Seitz later posted the full version of her speech on YouTube, describing the campus as a place where perpetrators of sexual assault were defended.

“And even learning on a campus in which some people defend perpetrators of sexual assault and silence their victims, we didn’t let that drag us down,” she continued.

According to Seitz, she was assaulted on campus last fall, and while the student was arrested, administrators did not suspend or expel the student, and instead encouraged Seitz to drop the case.

“Administrators and staff in Petaluma city schools care deeply about the safety and well being of our students. Due to student privacy issues, we cannot and should not respond with specific information. We can say that when issues of sexual assault come to our attention, local law enforcement has initial jurisdiction and determines the course of action. If an alleged event happens off campus or on, we work to support our students with appropriate discipline, extensive counseling, and whatever measures we can to protect our students while they are in our learning environment.”

-Deborah Richardson, Assistant Principal, Petaluma High School assistant

In a statement, campus officials said they cannot respond due to privacy issues: “many of the assertions that Ms. Seitz is making do not match our perspective.”


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