Valedictorian Pete Butera of PA HS has mic cut mid-speech for criticizing administrators

Exeter, PA -- Pennsylvania Wyoming Area High School valedictorian and Villanova commit Peter Butera had his microphone silenced when his commencement speech went off script and he criticized the district's administrators. Butera had just started to criticize what he considers an overly authoritarian administration when the plug got pulled on his speech and he was approached by Principal Jon Pollard to leave the stage at Sobieski Stadium.

"Despite some of the outstanding people in this school, a lack of real student government — and the authoritative nature that a few administrators and school members have — prevents students from developing as true leaders. Hopefully, this will change ... (audio turned off)."

Butera kept talking but few people could hear him. The crowd booed and many people shouted "PUT HIS MIC ON!" "He said, 'Alright Peter, you're done,' " Butera recalled the principal saying.

"I don't think it could have gone any better," Butera, 18, said Sunday. "I got my point across and them cutting the microphone proved my point to be true."

Wyoming Area Superintendent Janet Serino said graduation speeches are vetted ahead of time and Butera veered off the script of the one he submitted.

"The speech was changed as it was being given," she said in an email.

"I assume if I went off script and praised the administration it would not have gotten pulled," said Butera, the son of local attorney Michael Butera.

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