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Valedictorian's Speech Started With Thanks, Ended With Barbs

Nataly Buhr 'thanked' office staff for 'negligence'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2019 7:45 AM CDT
Nataly Buhr's unexpected speech rocked a San Diego high school graduation.   (Getty Images/NGUYENTHANHTUNG)

(Newser) – A California high school valedictorian threw a curveball in her commencement speech last week, and school officials aren't thrilled. Nataly Buhr's address last Thursday to the crowd at San Diego's San Ysidro High School started off typical, with Nataly thanking teachers and her parents, per Fox News. But things soon veered from the script that had been preapproved by the school, with the senior "thanking" those who hadn't been quite as inspirational, including a guidance counselor who she says taught her to "fend for myself. You were always unavailable to my parents and I, despite appointments." The main office staff fueled her resourcefulness, thanks to "negligence" that she says may have cost her scholarships.

As for one teacher who was "regularly intoxicated ... thank you for using yourself as an example to teach students about the dangers of alcoholism," Nataly said. "Being escorted by police out of school was a lasting impression." While there were audible gasps during her speech, Nataly received cheers and applause from her classmates at the end (CBS8 has the speech here). A Sweetwater Union High School District rep says Nataly's speech was "inappropriate" and "out of line," and that "while we definitely welcome the concerns of students and their families ... doing so in such a manner ... is not the right way of handling this," per the San Diego Union-Tribune. Her mom, for one, is glad Nataly spoke up. "It is something that takes a lot courage to do." (Nataly isn't the first Class of 2019 valedictorian to make waves with a speech.)

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