“Keep being a pain in the ass.”
Last week, the senior class president and valedictorian of the Wyoming Area Secondary Center in Exeter, Pennsylvania, Peter Butera, became internet-famous for attempting to stick it to the man in his graduation speech. After delivering his school-approved speech, Butera went off-script and took a few shots at the school’s administration. “A lack of a real student government combined with the authoritative attitude that a few teachers, administrators, and board members have,” Butera said, “prevented students from truly developing as true leaders...” and then his mic was shut off.
After Butera’s mic went dead, the crowd at the graduation clamored to let him finish, but unfortunately he was not allowed to. So Tuesday night, Jimmy Kimmel gave the teen a forum to finish his speech on his late-night show. “Well, since the school didn’t let you finish your speech at the graduation ceremony, I thought it would be nice to let you finish it on television,” Kimmel offered.
The end of Butera’s speech:
“Hopefully, for the sake of future students, more people with power within our school—who do not do so already—will begin to prioritize education itself as well as the empowering of students. Because, at the end of the day, it is not what we’ve done as Wyoming Area students that will define our lives, but what we will go on to do as Wyoming Area alumni. And I hope that every one of my classmates here today, as well as myself, will go on to do great things in this world and achieve true happiness and success. Thank you all for coming out to this great celebration today.”
“Have you learned your lesson that you should always carry a bullhorn in your pants?” Kimmel joked after hearing the speech. Then the TV host gave Butera a great piece of advice that has served him for decades: “Keep being a pain in the ass.”
In the fall, Butera plans to continue his education at Villanova University.