A California valedictorian went off script during her commencement address, slamming an alcoholic teacher who was ‘escorted out of school’ and a guidance counselor who she thanked for ‘letting me fend for myself’ due to being ‘always unavailable to my parents and I despite appointments.’
San Ysidro High School senior Nataly Buhr opened her June 6 speech in typical fashion – thanking her parents for their “endless love,” acknowledging the memories shared with her friends, and mentioning a handful of teachers for being ‘invested in the students.’
Then, Buhr went scorched earth.
Buhr began by unloading on her counselor, to whom she said: “Thanks for teaching me to fend for myself: You were always unavailable to my parents and I, despite appointments. … You expressed to me your joy in knowing that one of your students was valedictorian, when you had absolutely no role in my achievements.
She then slammed the office staff, saying “Thank you for teaching me how to be resourceful. Your negligence to inform me of several scholarships until the day before they were due potentially caused me to miss out on thousands of dollars. When applying for a work permit, you repeatedly turned me away, despite confirming with my employer and my parents that all of my paperwork was filled out correctly. I’ve had to escalate issues with staff to an assistant principal various times to reach any sort of solution.”
And finally – “To the teacher that was regularly intoxicated during class this year, thank you for using yourself to teach these students about the dangers of alcoholism. Being escorted out of school left a lasting impression,” said Buhr, receiving applause from the audience.
“I hope that future students and staff learn from these examples,” she said in conclusion.
The school district is pissed
Following Buhr’s speech, Sweetwater Union High School District spokesman Manuel Rubio said that the valedictorian’s went off script from her approved remarks, telling the San Diego Union Tribune “We think that the student’s speech was inappropriate and out of line,” adding “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. Ultimately this takes away from what should have been a day of celebration for the school and their community.”
Her mother Monica Serratos said in a Facebook post that she couldn’t be more proud of her daughter.