High school commencement is probable not an appropriate time to talk about your sexual interests. Not sure that’s really censorship or cancel culture?
I couldn't decide to post this in the Censorship thread or Cancel Culture thread so I decided to do it both. It was the only logical choice to make.
NJ Valedictorian’s Mic Cut after speaking about his sexuality, mental illness & eating disorderA South Jersey high school valedictorian said school officials cut his mic after he began speaking about his LGBTQ identity at graduation. Bryce Dershem’s speech at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees last Saturday touched on his experiences with sexuality, mental illness and disordered eating, according to Philadelphia’s NBC 10.
“After I came out as queer freshman year, I felt so alone. I didn’t know who to turn to,” Dershem said — before the audio was reportedly cut. The school principal then walked to the podium to confiscate a copy of Dershem’s speech, according to video of the event obtained by the station.
“Dr. Tull came up to the stage he grabbed the paper I brought and crumpled it in front of me,” Dershem told the outlet. “He pointed to the speech he had written for me, effectively, and told me I was to say that and nothing else.” The principal then gave the top student a new microphone, while trying to play off the incident as a technical issue, Dershem said.
The valedictorian picked up where he left off — and defiantly recited the old speech from memory, according to the report. The address reportedly went over well with Dershem’s classmates, but not with school officials.
Dershem told the outlet that administrators warned him not to mention his sexuality and personal problems, telling him that graduation was not “his therapy session.” “I did feel censored,” Dershem said. “I felt as though they were trying to regulate the message I was going to say and take away the parts of my identity that I’m really proud of.” Dershem also draped a rainbow flag over his cap and gown after being told not to, he told the outlet.
The whiz kid said he just wanted to inspire his classmates to be themselves. “Part of our identity, our year, our struggle is 2021,” Dershem said in his speech. “We’re still here though. We adopted to something we never thought possible.”