23 Mar That thing we can learn from a high school salutatorian
JUAN SAYS: This video of Sto. Nino Parochial School Salutatorian Krisel Mallari became viral not just due to the content of her speech but more so, because of how school officials rudely interrupted her “time to shine” signaling that she should stop talking now.
While it can be found that her speech is not the conventional salutatory speech but more of an expression of how her high school days or how the last days of it faired to her, we still believe that her freedom to speak was curtailed because some officials felt that it was wrong for her to express what she feels in her heart.
“Sa bawat taon na lumipas ay puspusan ang pag-aaral na ginawa ko sa eskuwela, naniwala ko sa patas na labanan. Sa pagtatapos ng school year na ito’y isang hakbang na lang ang layo ko sa finish line, ngunit sa pagdating ko rito’y naglaho ang pulang tali na sisimbolo sana sa aking tagumpay, naglaho nga ba o sadyang kinuha?” Mallari was saying when the announcer interrupted.
If we read her correctly, this is not the first time that she was unfairly treated by the school and by the school officials. But instead of holding it in, Krisel chose to speak further.
“Maraming tao ang nagbulag-bulagan sa isang sistemang marumi at kaduda-duda. Ngunit di ko ito tinuluran, ipinaglaban ko ang sa tingin ko’y tama, nanindigan ako bilang isang Pilipino na palaban at may takot sa Diyos. Chismis, isang piyesta ng chismis ang inabot ko ng pinagmukha nila akong masama,”
Further interviews from ABS CBN state that her speech was brought about by a cheating incident in school. Kristel’s sister Katherine explained that they have been asking the school to release the computation of Krisel’s grades but to no avail.
Sometimes it takes a kid to wake us up and make us realize that though there are some things worth shutting up for, there are definitely some things that we would die for – like our belief in God, our values and principles. In this case, Krisel chose to “die” for her truth. You have to give this girl some respect. At least she has the balls to stand up for her truth and what she believes to be right. She may have felt robbed with her bridesmaid (salutatorian) finish, she asked for a computation of grades (which the school didn’t give her, clearly justice denied there). She exhausted efforts to seek for answers to her questions, which the officials of the school decided to keep her out of the dark. Now that she is expressing herself, though a bit melodramatic so to speak, school officials tried to repress her yet she pressed on.
This is the thing with our country, we seek for the truth and we get two answers, a total lie or a half-told truth. In our vocabulary, a half-truth is still a whole lie.
If the school stands by its decision to put Krisel in second place, there will be no need to hide the computation of grades and the basis for which the honors were bestowed. Where is integrity in the schools educational system? Where is integrity in the school’s officials, teachers, etc.? Is there integrity at all?