Butfour minutes into her graduation speech, the valedictorian says her microphone was abruptlycut off when she tried to mention being sexual assaulted at school.
"The class of 2018 has demonstrated time and time again, that we may be new in generation, but we are not too young to speak up, to dream and create change. Which is why even when some people on this campus, those same people -". "I thought this is a public school with freedom of speech".
"Throughout my whole case, the administrators told me their jobs were on the line", she said.
The school district said Thursday that "due to privacy issues", it can't respond publicly to the allegations, ABC 7 reported. 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.When was she assaulted?
She noted that the school had weathered a teacher's strike and closures during the fires that raged last fall in Sonoma County, which she said had claimed some students' homes.
"We have all had unlikely dreams and overcome obstacles to achieve them", she said. "We have all at some point been hurt, excluded or - worst of all - ignored". Then, her mic was purposefully cut off. As Seitz sat down, students began chanting 'let her speak!'
"I felt like I was worthless", Seitz recalls.
Principal David Stirrat told The Washington Post that Seitz and other student speakers were warned that if they deviated from their pre-approved speeches, their microphone could be cut off. According to a Google Plus profile, she was a trumpet soloist in the school's jazz band and a school treasurer. She kept a GPA over 4.0 and participated in science competitions.
Seitz, the first in her family to graduate from high school, told the Press Democrat that she was sexually assaulted on campus and wanted to criticize the administration's lack of action in her speech. They reportedly went as far as pulling her out of a class to give her a warning.
But the night before commencement, as she watched Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, she was inspired to speak up.
Seitz' June 2 speech began as many do, with expressions of gratitude for the experiences and memories she and her classmates had.
Seitz published her full speech on YouTube, which has up to now, received more than 45,000 views.
Petaluma high principal told the San Francisco Chronicle that the school was trying to make sure the graduation ceremony was appropriate and handsome.
Some students seemed to understand the school's decision to cut the mic, even if they mostly agreed with the content of the speech, ABC 7 reported. "Sometimes we know what's right and have to do it". In it, she shows exactly what happens at the graduation, gives the uncensored version of her speech, and sends a message to the principal who cut her off.
"This is about the bigger problem, not only about what I experienced". But it is not as hard knowing that we have made an impact on each other and the world around us and we will not be forgotten as a whole, ' she said, in part.
Actress Mira Sorvino, who has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, praised Seitz for speaking up.
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