California valedictorian burns school in ‘scorched earth’ speech |

California valedictorian burns school in ‘scorched earth’ speech

Shirley McMarlin

Tell us how you really feel, Nataly.

At California’s San Ysidro High School, valedictorian Nataly Buhr started her graduation speech the way those speeches usually go. She thanked friends, family and teachers at the San Diego school who helped her along her way.

Then the speech veered into what the New York Post termed “scorched earth” territory. In Buhr’s view, the “intelligent” educators and administrators who were really invested in their students were few and far between.

What high school kid hasn’t thought that everyone and everything associated with school is stupid? But, still…

Buhr’s first target was her counselor.

“Only in these past few weeks, with the award ceremonies and graduation coming up, did you begin making your appearance,” she said. “And might I note, you expressed to me your joy in knowing that one of your students was valedictorian when you had absolutely no role in my achievements.”

Office staff were called out for their “negligence to inform me of several scholarships until the day before they were due, potentially caused me to miss out of thousands of dollars.”

Buhr saved the best for the last. The audience gasped as she called out “the teacher who was regularly intoxicated during class this year.”

“Thank you for using yourself as an example to teach students about the dangers of alcoholism,” she said. “Being escorted by police out of school left a lasting impression. I hope that future students and staff learn from these examples.”

At least she didn’t name names.

Not surprisingly, Manuel Rubio, a spokesperson for the Sweetwater Union High School District, told the San Diego Union-Tribune the speech was “inappropriate and out of line.”

In an email to the paper, Rubio said the school wants to hear the concerns of students and their families, but it should be done the right way: “Ultimately this takes away from what should have been a day of celebration for the school and their community.”

Heroic or misguided? The Twitterverse has opinions, from “you go, girl”:

To “child, you still have a lot to learn”:

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.