Peter Butera gained national attention when his microphone was cut off during his graduation address at his high school, the Wyoming Area Secondary Center in West Pittson, Pennsylvania.
Before giving the high school senior class president an opportunity to finish his remarks, Kimmell played a clip of the beginning of the speech, in which Butera began to criticize the school.
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‘Whoever cut that mic off should not be in charge of education of any kind. Why were they so mad at you for that Peter?’ Kimmel asked Butera, who will attend Villanova in the fall.
‘I went off script,’ he explained, saying he altered the ending of his speech and didn’t clear it with the school because he knew they would not let him say what he wanted.
In the speech, Butera criticized administrators for their ‘authoritative nature’ that has left the school with ‘a lack of real student government,’ and this state of affairs which ‘prevents students from developing as true leaders.’
On Tuesday, after thanking the late night host for the opportunity, Butera began: ‘Hopefully, for the sake of future students more people with power within our school, who do not do so already, will begin to prioritize education itself as well as the empowering of students.
‘Because at the end of the day it’s not what we have done as Wyoming Area students or athletes that will define our own lives, but what we go on to do as Wyoming Area alumni.’
Kimmell joked Butera’s comments were the equivalent to a 2-star Yelp review.
Butera shared these same remarks on Facebook after his speech was cut short, and the post was liked and shared hundreds of times.
He also told Citizens Voice, ‘I don’t think it could’ve gone any better. I got my point across and them cutting the microphone proved my point to be true.’
The school’s principal, Dr Jon Pollard, said Butera was wrong to use commencement as a forum to air grievances.
‘There is an expectation that graduation speakers deliver their prepared and practiced speech during the ceremony,’ Pollard said.
‘I recognized that he was not presenting the speech that he had submitted.
‘I needed to ensure that no one was offended. He never brought any of his concerns to me and he certainly could have. A graduation ceremony is not the venue for that type of discord.’