Girl interrupted: School officials cut salutatorian's speech
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Enough!
Krisel Mallari, from the Sto Niño Parochial School in Quezon City, delivered a speech hinting on her school’s lack of fairness.
“Sa pagtatapos ng school year na ito’y, isang hakbang na lang ang layo ko sa finish line, ngunit sa pagdating ko rito’y naglaho ang pulang tali na sisimbolo sana sa aking tagumpay, naglaho nga ba o sadyang kinuha?” Mallari said.
(As the school year ends, I’m only a step away from the finish line. But upon arriving here, the red lace symbolizing my success vanished. Did it really vanish or was it taken away?)
A minute and a half into her speech, a school official took Mallari’s microphone and thanked the young girl. However, Mallari continued talking, prompting the official to interrupt her a second time.
“Kristel, kindly stop. Thank you very much,” the official said. This was followed by applause, but Mallari did not step down the stage, instead, she went on her with her speech.
The official then called the attention of the school principal and asked Mallari to take a seat, but the young student remained on stage as officials huddled beside her. In the end, Mallari was unable to finish her speech.
Her full speech was posted online.
“Chismis, isang piyesta ng chismis ang inabot ko nang pinagmukha nila akong masama. Ganun talaga minsan, ‘pag umayon ka sa kung alin ang tama, ikaw pa ang lumalabas na mali,” a part of the undelivered speech read.
“’Di na nga nila pinakinggan ang iyong hinaing, nakuha ka pa nilang laitin. Kung sinasabi ninyong wala akong acceptance, marami ako niyan, pero paano ko tatanggapin ang isang bagay na ‘di naaayon sa katotohanan? Para saan pa ang aking dedikasyon sa pag-aaral at hustisya kung ‘di ko naman ito ipaglalaban?”
(Gossip, a feast of gossip is what I got when they made me look bad. That’s how it is sometimes when you agree to what is not right, you’ll end up looking bad. They don’t even listen to your complaints, and yet they discriminate you. If you’re saying I lack acceptance, I have a lot of that. But how can I accept something that’s not true? What is my dedication for studies and justice for if I won’t fight for it?)
Mallari said the speech she delivered on stage was different from the one officially approved by her school, according to an ABS-CBNNews.com report. Since her original speech spoke about an alleged cheating incident, she decided to alter the speech she submitted for checking.
The school declined Mallari’s request for a copy of her grades computation, according to the report. Mallari’s sister said her family requested the document for the sake of transparency. Other students have also complained of unexplained low grades, she added.
Netizens then flooded Facebook and YouTube with comments ranging from support for Mallari, thoughts on freedom of speech, to defense of the school.
Some netizens criticized the school for disrespecting Mallari, stifling her right to air her concerns. Others urged an investigation into the alleged cheating incident. Meanwhile, some netizens found Mallari's speech too personal and inappropriate for a graduation ceremony.
Based on the draft of her speech, Mallari would have ended her address with these words: "I am Krisel Mallari, a Filipino citizen who would rather choose to fail with honor than win by cheating. Adios!"
What are your thoughts on the incident? – Rappler.com