Peter Butera

Newsmaker Interviews
Monday, June 19th

2017 Wyoming Area High School class Valedictorian and class president had his speech cut short at graduation. He talks with WILK's Sue Henry.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Peter Beecher welcomed to our show off. Hello hi you doing battery Dario is so nice to call me mrs. Henry theater and last but it's a couple of view. All right so you have a a couple of titles under your belt class president landing area. And validate two in so they said to based upon most backstage it would like you'd give the graduation speech talk a little bit Peter about what you're told regarding the speech in and what you had to do. Prior to delivering this speech. Prior to the delivery suspicion all the talk about. On world the principal pulled me to email me the speech so that. It can be president now and blown up though it would be different to read. And that was. But it that the assume that that's also an approval. Process. So. That's what happened did he ever talk to you Peter about what you could and could not say. No but I guess it's implied that if something was in there that I could not say that it would be told me. Made you decide. After you had submitted dead and they blew it up seated greeted them and all that stuff too. Say what you said at the graduation and may be feel the people who were not at the Wyoming your graduation in Hannover and what you said and why you decided to say that. Well I decided to say it because I felt like it was something that needed to be fed conducted who has the best place to say it is an audience. And I basically just said that the students have no real student government and they don't get an input. In what goes on. After school due to to an authoritative. Admitted. OK so you decide to us say these things and how far into the speech were you when you talked about. About two minutes. Of the speech and I handed in which was thanking everybody take all my teachers. Taking my parents my panelists and then I had to admit that and then the last minute. Was. Arm off the script. Until the last I went two minute unscripted. Thirty seconds off and then I was gonna close on script looked and the not a candidate. What you'll do a pack now but we surprised. That so they cut the microphone. To an extent yes I didn't even know that they'd be able to do that but they did. We you at you when you're talking to your peers and that the class and Tony seventeen and slamming area. Before you gave the speech did you wrench into any of them that you were going to do this or did they suggest to you that they would like you to do this book what. Prompting you to kind of work that end. I mentioned to a couple of them out of him do I don't wanna mention it that too many people are aware that spreads so that. Everyone would know and everyone I mentioned to it supported it but it was a great idea. Attack which you were thinking about the same and you were talking about. You know the authoritative nature of the leadership at landing area and a lack of input buys student government. Can cite something specific to the do you believe. Is justifiable reason to weave this in your speech in other words when what have they done that you thought was. Authoritative. Or are responsive to the needs of both students. It's just really everyday things in the cool like every day decision student can no input on them and it its students app administration. Why is this the way that is. The administration doesn't feel the need to give a reason and they just say because we sent the oh. And if you wanna make a decision. Then that. It's at least right to give a reasonable. Or logical. Justification for your decision. And at times they don't feel the need to do this certainly is too because they have the power to do it. Okay can you name something specifically do you believe does something that's going on what the students where the administration counseling would not listen. To what you guys had to say and you feel. That it's something that it was. Justifiable. On your end. Last summer opal well dress code thing knows probably. Below most of public. And although students went out board means then. Mean in fellow student had a meeting with mrs. Perino the superintendent. We ultimately really didn't get any say what happened. That's just an example both. Stand. Hearing gospel is not necessarily doing anything about it. With the dress code just specifically what do you think could have been done. To making it seem. More are how applicable for you in the other students in other words what is that the grievance on the desk at. Palestinian leader could have been brought in to help compose the dress code and make it. But that was not done because it had that sentiment because there really isn't a legitimate student government. That happened. We giving this speech and they cut your microphone at Susan's story in the citizens' place by Bob talent out scheme that people started to boo. And yell let him speak. Is that accurate. That is accurate iPad so what would a lot of people Peter who. He looked you after the graduation was over and the lobby your effort to get that message out. Yet. One of the things the administration has been saying is that this quote the wrong venue to do this that. And based on I probably had over fifty people come up to me right after graduation. Students teachers even. Students parents and a lot of teachers come up to me right after graduation. Saying now what I did. State bank incorporated. And that out of the great thing to do. I don't think it was the wrong venue at all. OK so this is and people who are not only your peers for your actual teachers came helped you in a body you. A good amount that's that's pretty unusual did anybody criticize you while you were there. Not all of knowing problem I put a hole because it looks and we got cut off block you wanted to see it. And it got over. 400 likes on FaceBook over 350 shares. And 99% of the reactions have been positive there's been like one negative comment. Literally just one inept that. I think that that support and the attention that's been brought the issue to prove their graduation with a perfect thing need to do this. Have you heard from. The the superintendent. Indicated to the paper that does is she's open to a dialogue grow with you and other leaders I guess that's a student government has she reached out you. Okay did she reach out to you that the graduation and her afterwards. Not nobody talked into graduation. Have you heard from anybody on the school board. Up aipac. What kind of that word do you go from here what what comes next for you in the situation. Well you'd historian of the superintendent setup of meeting a week from today on Monday. So had that meeting I'll tell her. Things that a lot of students feel could be improved about the school. And then I'm not going back this white graduated so whether or not anything actually gets done you'd have to ask someone who Dexter. Well it would be good to see if they would invite them they're the leaders who are still in the school student government. Very class presidents and people of that hail up to that meeting so that there could be continuity. For the future of it right are you sorry at all that you spoke out. Now I'd. Don't think he could've gone any better as the paper. I'll tell you what if they didn't cut your anchor from Peter. I know we be having this conversation snack I had a period and that kind of give you that heightened profile. Students thought that maybe took the focus off. Of their graduation. No I don't because. My speech was one of the first things that happen during the ceremony and there's probably about 90% of the ceremony left after I teach. And that all went on as normal it. Just as any other graduation letters and like after they were students and parents all banking after the graduation so they obviously took no problem with them there was no different to a certain. Let's entertainer not do you think he'll continue to speak out when you attend Villanova University GM any designs on being a leader at that. Particular institution. I would like to be insolvency government there's something that speak up for a low. And Peter is gonna show an eminently on hold because the producer is gonna ask you a question obviously other people wanna talk to you besides me today and and somebody else does that we know on the media's and then playing on balls out of pocket there. Pictured on the Saturday and speaking up. And we didn't cut you off once we have buttons are now they didn't cut your Mike at all. And that I appreciate it well we've cut people off the show before you're just not one of them so I feel I feel good about that but to appear B share best of luck in the future thanks again in the shop. Thank you very much.