It’s not the first time that a school has banned a student from delivering a speech. It’s not the first time that a student’s worked hard at creating something innovative and then had their work censored. But it’s the first time that we’ve heard of a speech being banned because it won’t be delivered in a “monotone.”
That’s right, “monotone.”
The school in question is the Cimarron Memorial High School, whose mission is…”to provide a quality education which will enable students to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens and to acquire the skills essential for success in the 21st century.”
Apparently Andrew Booth of Cimarron Memorial High School created a speech that he planned to deliver with a bit of rhyme. Some might call that rap. But it was rhyme when the likes of Jesse Jackson used to do it.
The school officials have tediously banned Andrew from delivering the speech that he should make as the elected senior class president.
Their problem with the speech isn’t its content.Â There are no foul words or vulgarity. It’s the delivery format. Rhyme isn’t formal enough for the graduation ceremony. An excerpt suggests it’s not that bad:
Take a walk with me down memory lane.
We were first freshman, the bottom of the food chain,
rushing to class hoping seniors won’t stuff us in the trash…
Now it’s here.
It’s our senior year,
the last four years just seem to disappear.
There’s likely to be a stand-off with this speech. The unelected school officials will be in the unusual position of not permitting the elected senior class president to speak. Apparently they will switch off the microphone if he gets anywhere near the podium.
Speech or no speech, this school is inadvertently teaching its students the hard realities of living with unelected, pompous officials. But this isn’t Syria or Libya. It’s the USA.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+