Jimmy Kimmel gave Peter Butera, an 18-year-old recent high school graduate, the opportunity to finish his valedictorian speech via Skype on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Villanova-bound Butera had his microphone cut off during his speech at graduation after sharing some thoughts that were critical of his high school administrators. Kimmel described the act as the equivalent of giving the school “a two-star Yelp review.”
Kimmel stated, “Whoever cut that mic off should not be in charge of education of any kind.”
Butera started off explaining why the speech bothered faculty so much. “I went off script and it wasn’t the speech I handed in because I knew they wouldn’t let me say what I wanted to say,” he said. The speech wasn’t too offensive, but his criticisms definitely had an impact on administration.
“At our school, the title of ‘Class President’ could more accurately be ‘Class Party Planner’ and student council’s main obligation is to paint signs every week. Despite some of the outstanding people in our school, the lack of real student government- combined with the authoritative attitude that a few teachers, administrators and board members- have prevented students from truely developing as leaders. I hope this will change,” Butera said just before the microphone was shut off and the principal escorted him off stage.
Many wondered what the valedictorian had to say next. Well, contrary to public belief, Butera’s final words were more hopeful than badmouthing.
“Hopefully for the sake of future students, more people of power within our school who do not do so already will begin to prioritize education itself as well as the empowering of students. Because at the end of the day it is not what we have done as Wyoming Area students or athletes that will define our lives, but what we will go on to go as Wyoming Area alumni. And I hope that every one of my classmates here today, as well as myself, will go on to do great things in this world and achieve true happiness and success. Thank you all for coming out to this great celebration today. ”
Kimmel praised Butera for his impactful speech by encouraging him to “keep being a pain in the ass in college” and labeling him a “good American.”
Even though Wyoming Area faculty weren’t too thrilled with the speech, Butera said his parents were very proud and supportive, as was his graduating class who gave him a standing ovation when he was escorted off the stage.
Make sure to watch the video and see for yourself what this young man had to say.
Butera definitely has big things coming his way. Congrats to the class of 2017!