Pitts: Bay Area school cut mic on grad speaker, draws NBC, CNN’s ire

By Leonard Pitts Jr.
Miami Herald

Here’s an axiomatic truth:

If you want to make sure people see or hear something, ban people from seeing or hearing something. That predates the internet, as any former teenager who ever hid under the covers listening to “Louie Louie” with the volume down can surely attest.

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We are talking about a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. If censorship didn’t work then on something as inconsequential as a pop song, you can imagine how ineffective it would be now on something as important as sexual assault.

Somebody at Petaluma High School in Petaluma,, should have figured that out. Instead, the school apparently cut the microphone on its valedictorian, 17-year-old Lulabel Seitz, at her graduation ceremony earlier this month. Lulabel says officials had warned her not to mention being the victim of an alleged sexual assault on campus and what she claims was the school’s failure to take action when she reported it.

For the first few minutes, she obeyed that restriction, concentrating instead on standard-issue stuff: hopes, dreams and overcoming adversity. But when Lulabel turned to the forbidden topic, her microphone mysteriously stopped working.

“Let her speak!” people cried out. But Lulabel was not allowed to finish.

That wasn’t the end of the story, though. The next day, she took to YouTube, where she gave her speech in its entirety, including the banned sentence, a paean to perseverance that went as follows: “And even learning on a campus in which some people defend perpetrators of sexual assault and silence their victims, we didn’t let that drag us down.”

At this writing, Lulabel’s video has been viewed 335,379 times. We can’t say how many people …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Health


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