Did He Say What I Think He Said?  He Did?  Pull the Plug.

There’s a show called Kid’s Say the Darnedest Things?, hosted by Bill Cosby, according to what I Googled up, though I think it was originally an Art Linkletter show.  If I’m not mistaken, most of what the kids said was funny.  Not everything kids say is funny, though, and if something a kid says, at graduation say, during a commencement speech, isn’t funny, or is critical of the school, what is an administrator to do?  Why, pull the plug, of course.

“It was not the speech that school officials approved.

So they pulled the plug on Nicholas Noel’s commencement speech to fellow graduates Wednesday night when in the fourth sentence the senior class president referred to Grand Rapids Union High School as a “prison.”

Besides pulling the plug on the class president’s speech, what else can be done to learn this kid a lesson.

“As more than 1,000 people watched, power to the microphone was cut and Noel returned to his seat at Ford Fieldhouse. Officials later refused to give him his diploma, although a school spokeswoman said he would receive it soon.”

What else did the class president have to say, you ask?

“Noel said he described the school as “the Union High Prison System” because students were expected to act alike. The message of his speech was that high school paints for students “a picture of life that is incomplete,” he said.

“The colors of life are yet to come,” Noel said. “It was really nice, nothing in bad taste. I tried to be different, and I was punished.”

He said the rest of his speech would have been positive if he had been allowed to finish it. A copy of his written speech goes on to call Union a “foul institution” and a “horribly irresponsible and depraved place to learn these life lessons….”

But it also said Union’s mix of cultures provides “bizarre training” for the real world. He wraps up by quoting Hunter S. Thompson: “Who is the happier man, He who has braved the storm of life and lived. Or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed.”

I think this kid is already happier than the majority of his fellow graduates, and definitely happier than the life force sucking administrators in charge of the school.

“Unplugged: School silences graduate’s speech.”

Update:  In a similar vein, Radley Balko points us to a story of renegade poets, renegade highschool poets that is, who, having the audacity to critcize the war against terrorism, and President Bush, in their poetry, have been disbanded, their teacher fired, and jingoistic poems, substituted for the critical poems, recited around the raising of the flag.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/20 at 03:24 PM
  1. Where ever do you find all this stuff?

    Posted by Jason Kuznicki  on  05/21  at  07:40 AM
  2. In the news, Jason.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/21  at  09:26 AM
  3. I know, I know…  but you always seem to find them FIRST. (Shakes head in frustration…)

    Posted by Jason Kuznicki  on  05/21  at  12:07 PM
  4. I live in the area, and I find this piece very interesting. I believe by the school pulling the plug on Nick is an outrage. But the real reason I’m posting on this is I would like to know the whole speech. I have been looking for it about about three hours now. I would like to find it or find a way to talk to Nicholas. So if you can help it would be really nice. thanks

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/25  at  02:30 AM
  5. If I can find it, Kent, I’ll post it.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/25  at  05:50 AM






Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Next entry: Reading in Double Time

Previous entry: Pedagogue for Philosophy

<< Back to main