University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men’s first Black valedictorian, Jaisaan Lovett, was denied from reciting his speech at his graduation because of his remarks regarding the school’s principal, Joseph Munno, USA Today reports.
“To Mr. Munno, my principal, there’s a whole lot of things I’ve wanted to say to you for a long time. … I’m here as the UPrep 2018 valedictorian to tell you that you couldn’t break me. I’m still here, and I’m still here strong,” Lovett wrote in his speech.
The soon to be college freshman also acknowledged that he has forgiven his principal and has moved on.
“And after all these years, all this anger I’ve had toward you and UPrep as a whole, I realized I had to let that go in order to better myself. And I forgive you for everything I held against you,” he said in his speech.
The school did not allow the grad to give his speech and he believes it’s because of past clashes that he’s had with the school, which includes Lovett leading a five-day student strike over the school not ordering safety equipment for a lab, according to USA Today.
“There’s a lot of wrong things that go on at that school, and when I notice it I speak out against it,” he said. “(Munno) is a guy that doesn’t like to be told ‘no,’” he told USA Today.
Lovett works at Rochester, New York’s City Hall as an intern and has developed a friendship with the city’s mayor, Lovely Warren who allowed him to give his speech, which was posted on YouTube.
Lovett will attend Clark Atlanta University in the fall where he’s received a full scholarship.
Check Out the Speech Below: