Should a Lodi Valedictorian have the opportunity to give the graduation speech? – Poll
Devan Solanki is an honors student and the Valedictorian of Lodi high School that has had his pick of universities, including Princeton and Harvard. Yet, when the high school has their commencement, Solanki won’t be the one giving the graduation speech.
According to a post on Reddit, Solanki explains why he is the valedictorian yet won’t be giving the commencement speech. Solanki explains that past disciplinary actions were the reasons given to him as to why he wouldn’t be in consideration.
Here is the note Devan sent around to his fellow students trying to gain support:
I’m writing to you to explain how my valedictorian speech was taken from me.
This past Thursday, June 4th, [Teacher] called me into [Principal’s] office where I was told that I would not be permitted to give the commencement speech at my own graduation. They told me that they have been trying to implement a new policy where National Honors Society members apply for the chance to give the speech and now was as good of a time as ever. They said that due to my disciplinary history I would not even be considered in the running. I was told that I had two choices. I could either tell everyone that I decided not to apply altogether or send in an application knowing that my speech had no chance of winning, regardless of its merit.
The thing that hurt the most was the timing of it. They decided to tell me June 4th. Not only was it the day of prom but it was two days after the Valedictorian Breakfast. [Teachers’ names removed for confidentiality] had just spent an entire morning telling me just how proud they were of me and of my accomplishments. I don’t understand how they could sit by and applaud while I get my certificate knowing that they would soon take it all away from me. After they told me that giving a speech just wouldn’t be in my future, they offered to retain the ceremony honoring the valedictorian. What I don’t understand is why they thought that the title valedictorian was synonymous with being number one in the class. No it’s not. In fact a valedictorian is someone who gives a valedictory, or in layman’s terms, a closing speech.
Their reasoning is that since I’ve faced disciplinary action in the past, I’m no longer fit to hold such an honor. In all honesty, regardless of the credence of the actions that landed me in the vice principal’s office, I think “getting in trouble” makes me all the more representative of my class, not less. I am human after all.
I’ve been lectured time and time again about picking my battled very carefully. To be frank, I can’t think of anything else that I’d rather make a stand against. If I’ve learned anything during my four years at Lodi High School, it’s that when you feel you need help, there are people all around you that you can turn to. Whether or not you’ve had me in class or merely heard about me, I think you should be able to decide for yourself whether or not this is a fair thing to do to a student. I’m not asking you to act, but merely acknowledge and share with me in my plight.
Please come speak to me if you have any concerns or advice.
>With a heavy heart,
What could Devan do differently to make the school officials change their mind? Dennis and Judi had some ideas. You can listen to that segment in the YouTube below.
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Dennis and Judi decided to take up Devan’s cause and would like to know if disciplinary action(s) should take away from academic excellence? We had a caller Jocelyn from Seaside Heights who was also a valedictorian and had gotten in trouble during her time in school, yet was still allowed to give her speech at the time.
What do you think should happen? Should Devan Solanki be allowed to give the commencement speech. Take the poll below.
NEXT: Dennis & Judi create a hilarious Law & Order spoof
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