Student denied diploma for not reading speech principal wrote

What’s a day in June without another high school commencement controversy?

Marvin Wright, of Southwest Edgecombe High in Pinetops, N.C., showed why he’s the president of his graduating class when he told school administrators through his actions what they could do with the speech they told him to deliver instead of the one he wrote, the Washington Post reports today.

“I felt robbed of a chance to say my own words,” Marvin, 18, told the Post.

This, apparently, is the speech he was told to give:

I would like to thank all of our friends and family for being here tonight. I would also like to address my fellow graduates one last time before we leave this gym. Although we may all never be in the same room at the same time again, we will always share the memories that we created within these walls.

And no matter what we all do after graduation, never forget that this is one place that we all have in common, this place is home. Congratulations graduates, we did it!

It’s amazing the paper on which it was written didn’t float away, given how light on substance and meaning it was.

Young Marvin took out his cellphone and read his own speech instead.

So the principal withheld Marvin’s diploma.

“All my friends were outside with their big yellow folders taking pictures and I was still inside, trying to get my diploma,” Marvin said. “I was really hurt and embarrassed, basically humiliated.”

Two days later, the school superintendent ordered the principal to give Marvin his diploma.

“If your mom has any questions just give me a call,” the principal said when he dropped it off at his house before leaving. Inspiring words, indeed, sir.

“He can’t get that day back,” his mother said. “That was a special moment for me, it was a special moment for him.”

This week Marvin joined the Navy. After that he hopes to become a surgeon.