Graduation Ceremoney (Photo : Chill Will / Creative Commons)
A high school graduate and valedictorian from Orestimba High School in Newman, CA delivered his graduation speech entirely in Spanish.
According to Mattos Newspapers who brought up the story and is based in the same city, Saul Tello Jr., the valedictorian, said that he was told that due to time constraints he had to choose between English or Spanish when giving his address.
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Tello Jr. decided to deliver it in Spanish and since then, a debate arose and has prompted the school board to look this incident over in order to adopt a position for similar future cases.
According to Mattos, Tello Jr. apologized to all non-English speakers in attendance before beginning his speech.
The school's principal Jessie Ceja was well aware of the plans and had given Tello Jr. permission to proceed.
Ceja told the media agency that the student had "earned the right as valedictorian" and that he "decided to give him that opportunity."
The school's superintendent, Ed Felt, said that based on the Education Code and a past Supreme Court ruling defending the First Amendment rights of students, a speaker could not be compelled to give a public speech in a specific language reported Mattos.
Controversies as such could many times be avoided when decided as a community rather than among a select few.
Tello on the other hand recognizes the backlash his decisions have caused.
To read the complete script of the address, click here.