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Mariah's avatar

Is it appropriate to talk about current issues in a high school commencement speech?

Asked by Mariah (25624points) June 4th, 2010

Okay, I want the most conservative, oil-lovin’ Flutherite out there to tell me: would you be offended if the valedictorian of your child’s graduating class gave a speech that touched on the oil spill? The basic theme of my speech is, “The world has some obvious problems right now that need fixing, we’re the next generation of leaders, we need to be responsible and conscientious and we can’t make excuses for our failures.” I live in a really conservative area, but I have to believe that nobody of any political party likes this oil spill.

If you’d like to read the actual speech in order to better answer this (it isn’t long) PM me and I will send it to you.

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8 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

I would say it is apropriate.

wilma's avatar

I think that sounds fine.
I don’t know anyone who isn’t distressed by this horrible oil disaster. I would keep politics out of it.
What makes you think “conservatives” wouldn’t care about the oil spill? Most of the conservatives that I know are very careful about “conserving” the environment.

jazmina88's avatar

Go for it. It is truth.and it sounds awesome!!!!! wtg!

perspicacious's avatar

As long as it’s not political

Mariah's avatar

@wilma I’m not worried about any sane conservatives being angered by my speech; my main concern is that some kind of crazy extremist will twist my words around and think that any mention of the oil spill automatically equals “let’s put wind turbines in everyone’s backyard!”

Cruiser's avatar

You need to be relevant and have touch stones to make an impact. Sounds to me that they picked the right persons to be Valedictorian….congrats and good luck!

Mariah's avatar

@Cruiser Thanks. The administration of my school seems to think that my speech should just be all about how awesome we are for graduating high school and how we’re going to “spread our wings” and I just really didn’t want to write a speech like that. I wanted to write about something real that I feel passionately about.

I asked this question because a little over a week ago, my principal called me into his office to talk about my speech. He asked if I had any idea what I was going to write about yet. I’d already written a draft. I told him that I touched on the oil spill and tried to summarize it for him. He told me that this speech wasn’t my “political platform” and basically implied that he thought I was going to go up there are spew propaganda. Not only that, but he made a point to remind me that he has to approve the speech before I can read it. It made me pretty mad because he didn’t even bother to read the draft I had written, which really isn’t very political. Like @wilma said, I didn’t really think that the oil spill was terribly political, because nobody of any political party likes the oil spill.

I edited my draft a lot with some help from my English teacher to make the tone a bit less negative, and submitted the final speech to my principal the other day. He approved it, now that he’s actually read it. I wish he wouldn’t have jumped to conclusions before reading it; that made me feel terrible.

wilma's avatar

@Mariah It’s too bad your principal made you feel upset for no good reason.
Good luck and congratulations!

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