Principal Refuses First Black Valedictorian to Give Graduation Speech

Jaisaan Lovett is the first African American valedictorian at  University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester. Jaisaan had planned to give a speech during his graduation, thanking his parents and encouraging his classmates, however, his principal refused to let his give it. “He didn’t want to see the speech or what it said, nothing,” Lovett told a local paper.

Luckily, Lovely Warren, the Mayor of Rochester New York, invited Lovett to give his speech at City Hall. She later posted the speech of her YouTube and Facebook accounts. “Jaisaan will never graduate from high school again. He will never get that moment back. This is not the time to punish a child because you may not like what he has to say,” she said.

The school later posted a statement on Facebook:

From the UPrep Board of Trustees: We are aware of the concern with the Valedictorian not speaking at graduation. The Board will be reviewing the circumstances regarding what happened and looking into the related guidelines and school policies. For confidentiality reasons, the school isn’t able to speak about the specifics of this situation. However, the school did try to connect with the Mayor’s Office and the school’s call was not returned. UPrep wishes Jaisaan Lovett, the first black Valedictorian in the school’s four year graduation history, much success as he continues his education at Clark Atlanta University.

source – cbs
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