This High School Valedictorian Was Censored for Speaking Out About Sexual Assault

  • by: Lily Sloane
  • recipient: Superintendent Gary Callahan
17-year-old Lulabel Seitz was a model high school student. With a 4.0 GPA and a Stanford acceptance letter in tow, Lulabel was chosen as her class valedictorian at Petaluma High School in Northern California.

During the graduation ceremony, Lulabel's speech started out as most do. She reminisced about freshman year and the perseverance her and her classmates showed throughout four years of high school.

But when she began talking about sexual assault and the school's handling of assault allegations, school principal David Stirrat cut her mic off.

Since her speech was censored, Lulabel has told reporters that she was sexually assaulted by another student. When she reported her assault, however, school officials took no action.

Principal Stirrat has since defended his decision to cut Lulabel's mic off, saying that the school wanted the graduation ceremony to be "appropriate and beautiful." You know what's beautiful? A teenager standing strong in front of hundreds of her peers and parents, demanding her sexual assault be taken seriously by the school.

Principal Stirrat has shown a total failure of leadership. Not only did Lulabel's sexual assault go completely ignored, she was then censored from talking about it, not just once but twice. (Prior to the graduation ceremony, she was told to not speak "against" the school, and then was censored when she spoke out.)

A principal should be more invested in the welfare of his or her students than in hiding bad publicity. Please sign this petition urging Superintendent Gary Callahan to replace Principal David Stirrat with someone who has their students' best interest at heart.
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