Seventeen-year-old Lulabel Seitz was a model student, and the first in her family to graduate from high school. With an above 4.0 GPA, she was class valedictorian at Petaluma High School, which meant she would give the commencement speech at her graduation.
Seitz' June 2 speech began as many do, with expressions of gratitude for the experiences and memories she and her classmates had. About four minutes into her speech, Seitz began to talk about sexual assault allegations at the school. Officials then disconnected her microphone.
"The class of 2018 has demonstrated time and time again that we may be a new generation, but we are not too young to speak up, to dream and to create change, which is why, even when some people on this campus, those same people --" Seitz said before the mic went off. Her speech, then barely audible, continued, "... in which some people defend perpetrators of sexual assault and silence their victims."
People in the audience began yell, "Let her speak!" School officials did not turn her microphone back on.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the school's principal, David Stirrat, stands by the decision, saying, "We were trying to make sure our graduation ceremony was appropriate and beautiful."