High School Valedictorian Delivers Speech Entirely in Spanish, Sparking Outrage From the Community
A California high school valedictorian delivered his commencement speech entirely in Spanish, only speaking in English to apologize to those who wouldn’t understand. Saul Tello, Jr. did this as a way to honor his parents, not in an effort to make any social statement. Nonetheless, the move has drummed up quite a bit of outrage in the community.
Bill Mattos, an alumni of Orestimba High School, joined Fox and Friends to say that what surprised him most was that school officials encouraged Tello to do this. “The student actually went to the principal and said he wanted to give the speech in English and Spanish and the principal said we didn’t have enough time for both so you should do it in Spanish,” Mattos said.
Mattos was perplexed by the act given that the student body is mostly English-speaking, and a valedictory speech is really intended for the graduating students.
The superintendent commented, saying, “We could request a student deliver a speech in English, but we would have little to enforce that … We are in a community with two dominant languages, & both should be recognized.”
While Mattos respects the superintendent, he believes he is off the mark on this issue. “How can you have two dominant languages? You either have one or the other. Most people do speak English in our city. We have a large Latino population, like we’ve had ever since I’ve been in high school.”