Principal Interrupts Valedictorian's Speech
POSTED: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - 4:35pm
UPDATED: Friday, June 10, 2011 - 9:43am
SOCORRO- The El Dorado High School Principal interrupts the Valedictorian's Speech during her graduation.
Through four long years of study and sacrifice, she earned the honor of high school valedictorian.
And then her crowning moment is interrupted, by her own principal.
We spoke with the El Dorado High School student this afternoon.
She says her speech didn't contain anything derogatory but the school changed it without telling her.
She felt the message was gone, so she decided to recite the original.
That's when things got awkward.
"I wanted to include everybody to make sure it was memorable and inspirational as well." That's what Stephanie Paredes wanted when she gave her graduation speech as valedictorian of El Dorado High School.
But no less than a minute in, that moment was interrupted.
In a video posted on YouTube, you can see Principal Nora Paugh walk up and after a few moments she puts her hand over Stephanie's script.
Stephanie stops talking and the two exchange words.
"She basically told me to stick to the script she'd prepared," Stephanie said.
Stephanie says the school edited her speech without telling her. Then gave her a different version they'd prefer she read.
She showed us her original script.
It didn't seem at all derogatory.
That's why she decided to go up and read the original.
"Their main argument was about time constraints. But I feel, you work hard for 4 years, for that moment to speak to the class on a personal level."
We spoke to Pat O'Neill from the Socorro Independent School District. He doesn't believe the principal did anything inappropriate.
O'Neill says she just didn't want Stephanie going over on time.
"The context of the speech never changed. It wasn't edited. Mrs. Paugh was just there to make sure it went smoothly," O'Neill said.
Still, Stephanie's father feels the principal's actions ruined his daughter's moment.
He's glad Stephanie didn't back down and finished reading her original speech.