peter butera jimmy kimmel

Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

Valedictorian cut off by administration finishes his speech on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

‘The school pulled a Kanye on the kid!’


Michelle Jaworski


Published Jun 21, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 2:21 am CDT

Last week, the administration of a Pennsylvania high school cut off Peter Butera’s valedictorian speech after he went off-script and criticized the administration’s “authoritative nature,” but now he’s gotten the chance to say what he wanted to say—without any interruptions.

Jimmy Kimmel heard Butera’s story and tracked him down to find out what happened. While Butera wasn’t able to finish his speech on the stage, he didn’t really get in trouble for it, and his parents supported him. But having seen the viral clip, Kimmel didn’t even think what Butera said that led to him being cut off was all that bad.

“All you really did was give the school like a two-star Yelp review,” Kimmel noted. “You really didn’t do anything bad.”

Kimmel then let him finish his speech, which ends with a hopeful message to his fellow classmates.

And now thanks to national headlines and Kimmel’s reach, lots more people have heard Butera’s speech than would’ve if administrators had just let him finish in the first place.

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*First Published: Jun 21, 2017, 10:48 am CDT