Education

High School Student’s Graduation Speech Claims School Did Nothing To Stop Bullying, Sexual Assault

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter
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A Washington high school student angered school administrators after claiming in a June 5 speech that officials did nothing to address alleged instances of bullying and sexual assault.

“And to you, underclassmen, who have to endure all the things the school throws at you for two or three more years, a school where the administration closes their eyes to everything that happens in this school. Their school. The sexual assault, the bullying, the depression, the outcasts and they do nothing to fix it,” Heritage High School senior Charles Chandler said at the “Moving Up” assembly.

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Chandler was met with cheers and applause from the audience, but school officials were not pleased with his accusations that departed from the “pre-approved comments,” according to a letter given to The Daily Caller News Foundation Monday.

“His comments had many inaccuracies, inflammatory statements and unsubstantiated accusations,” Heritage High School principal Derek Garrison wrote in the letter to parents June 6.

“We met with him at great length, discussing several options for a restorative resolution, or as a final option, if the student didn’t want to work towards a resolution, disciplinary options would be undertaken (per school district policy) that could include not walking at the upcoming graduation ceremony,” Garrison continued.

Chandler is choosing not to walk at graduation. He still graduated, however.

“I don’t think they should be capable of stopping me from walking at graduation for expressing my First Amendment rights,” Chandler said, KATU reported.

Chandler’s friend Ethan Wheeler agreed that the school did not do a lot, especially when he was reportedly bullied.

“I tried getting help and there wasn’t really much help given,” Wheeler said, according to KATU.

Students said they planned to walk out on June 7, KATU reported.

Chandler’s speech is not the first to claim staff provided inadequate assistance. (RELATED: Officials May Rebuild Columbine High School For Security Reasons)

San Ysidro High School valedictorian Nataly Buhr claimed her counselor was “always unavailable” and accused a teacher of showing up drunk to class, according to CBS News.

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