Brickbat: You Don't Say


Jason Stitt

The principal of North Carolina's Southwest Edgecombe High School refused to give class president Marvin Wright his diploma at the graduation ceremony after Wright delivered a speech he had written rather than one written by school administrators. Edgecombe County Schools Superintendent John Farrelly had the principal deliver the diploma to Wright's home two days later and called the boy to apologize, saying he should have received his diploma.


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  1. Pretty ballsy of the administrators to expect him to read a speech, what are the odds any random high school graduate is literate?

    1. Well, the fact that he was in the position to give the speech implies that he wasn’t a random high school grad, but rather the valedictorian or something like that.

      The nice thing about being in that position is that chances are pretty good that your high school graduation and diploma are going to mean a total of jack shit to you because you probably intend to go on and do better things with your education and life. He should’ve told the principal to shove that diploma up his ass.

  2. Come on, are you really going to rob a person of this one final opportunity on graduation day? Are you going to take away a principal’s last chance to punish a student before he his no longer a student who can be punished?

    1. retroactive punishment is still open…

      1. Come on, man. The kid’s got a diploma from a public school. Hasn’t he suffered enough?

    2. I see what you did there…

  3. Great topic. This is the diploma season and every student will like your article!

    Katty from the

    1. Using the comment section to pimp your pay site is considered bad form.

      Go away.

  4. Speaking of “you don’t say” – CNN is hot and heavy on Trump’s refusal to say whether or not he thinks the Russians meddled in the election. CNN itself seems to be unable to say that the Russian meddling in the election took place before Trump was elected and therefore any investigation might be looking at anybody other than Trump, like maybe the administration prior to Trump’s. Bush, IIRC.

  5. This shows the benefit of oversight by elected officials.

  6. And nothing else happened.


  7. Sounds like the Principle is a ego-inflated swine who desperately needs a swift kick in the plums. Hope the school board gave him one.

  8. A graduation ceremony isn’t an open forum, so the fact the school expects to vet the speech in advance is hardly suprising. When I was salutatorian at my high school, I had to present my speech in advance at the rehearsal so that the school could approve it.

    Marvin Wright, president of his high school senior class, spent two weeks working on his graduation speech, staying up till 5 on the morning of the event to finish.

    So basically, Marvin Wright is a procrastinator who waited to the last second to actually write his speech. When he didn’t have one prepared for rehearsal, the school got worried he wasn’t going to bother writing anything and wrote one for him. Then at the ceremony he suddenly whips out this speech no one else had heard, and the school was naturally worried that this could be leading into something wildly inappropriate.

    Now when it turned out fine, withholding the diploma was an overreaction, but pretending Marvin Wright was completely innocent is a stretch too.

  9. How do you expect to teach kids to be good little sheep if you are forced to apologize to them for being an authoritarian asshole. Geez letting him get away with free speech. What next he going to vote Republican.

  10. Shit like that still going on? They did that back in my day, when they used dinosaurs to deliver diplomas…

  11. Having a high school diploma in these days is like having a cup of cold coffee. Nothing to do but throw it out.
    I would expect the kid already has his college acceptance, and the school cannot refuse his final transcript, so all that is missing is the part where the school district fired the entire administration for not ratting out the dictator. I cannot even remember if I ever opened my high school diploma. I know I did not open my college diploma. All it showed was I could put up with major BS for four years. Which is exactly what potential employers want to know.

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