Florida high school valedictorian barred from giving speech honoring her immigrant parents

People here in Central Florida lament the “brain drain” from talented students who leave the land of hospitality-based, dead-end jobs upon completion of their studies. We are ranked one of the worst places to live for young people, so the skilled and educated tend to leave for other places where higher education is promoted and science is respected.

For some reason, places like that always seem to have a lower degree of bigotry and a higher quality of life. For many areas in Central Florida, unfortunately, we have the opposite. This is likely why Trump is kicking off his re-election bid in my backyard:


After I explain what happened to the top graduate from University High School last week, you’ll get a clearer picture of what I mean. I think it’s safe to say that when she’s ready to start accepting job offers, she’ll cross this area off her list.

On what was supposed to be her day and a celebration of her many accomplishments, Kriya Naidu was barred from speaking—and then insulted.

She was the freaking valedictorian. She had a weighted 5.5 GPA.  She was supposed to give a speech, and that speech she submitted was reviewed and approved.

The speech, which I will play for you in full below, honored her parents’ experience as immigrants and gave a quick nod to the many challenges faced by new immigrants. To be clear, there was absolutely nothing “inflammatory:” nothing about the overt hatred her parents faced, nor any reference to the current immigration tragedy with thousands of migrant children being separated from their parents or babies being put in cages. It was just a few lines of an inspirational tribute put into a 3-minute speech that quoted a line from Hamilton: “Immigrants, we get the job done.”

Can’t have that, I guess.

  • June 2, 2019