Many high school graduation speeches seem to go on forever as the valedictorian waxes poetic about the value of the education system and how everyone can achieve their dreams if they reach for the stars. But one recent California grad shook things the hell up when she called out ineffective and “intoxicated” staff members during a now-viral speech.
The student, Nataly Buhr from San Ysidro High School, kicked off her address innocently enough, thanking students and faculty for their contributions to her overall high school experience, saying that some teachers were “the most intelligent, inspiring, and supportive individuals I have had the pleasure of learning from.” Then came the fire.
“To my counselor, thank you for letting me fend for myself — you were always unavailable to my parents and I, despite appointments,” Buhr said. “Only in these past few weeks with the award ceremony and graduation coming up did you begin making your appearance. Might I note, you expressed to me your joy in having one of your students be valedictorian when you had absolutely no role in my achievements.”
This part was just the warm-up, kind of like when Daenerys Targaryen warned Cersei Lannister that there would be hell to pay if she didn’t bend the knee in Game of Thrones. Now, comes the part when our queen takes her fire-breathing dragon (in this case, her microphone), and hypothetically scorches her enemies. In hindsight, the staff would have been smart not to underestimate Nataly Buhr of House San Ysidro, First of her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the South Bay and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Football Field, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Hot Takes.
“To the staff in the main office, thank you for teaching me how to be resourceful,” she said. “Your negligence to inform me of several scholarships until the day before they were due potentially caused me to miss out on thousands of dollars.”
Then, things got even more intense.
“To the teacher who was regularly intoxicated during class this year, thank you for using yourself as an example to teach students about the dangers of alcoholism,” she said. “Being escorted by police out of school left a lasting impression.”
She concluded her speech by saying, “I hope that future students and staff learn from these examples.”
While many found Buhr’s tenacity inspiring, some criticized her for making light of alcoholism, which is a disease, in her speech, saying things like, “An achieved scholar who would publicly shame an addict is… undeserving of praise.”
Still, Buhr doesn’t regret her farewell address. “I understand that those I criticized may be facing personal issues, but I don’t think that should affect their commitments or the school’s responsibility to fulfill those commitments,” she said in a statement to San Diego news station CBS8. “I didn’t expect for change to come from my speech, but I was hoping it would encourage more students to speak up.”
Look out world, here she comes.
Watch the full speech below:
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