SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – The senior class president of Pine View High School for the Gifted was present at the graduation ceremony today and delivered his graduation speech. He knew he had to tread carefully, but the student came up with a plan.
Zander Moricz wants to use this time to talk about his experience as a gay student or criticize House Bill 1557, which advocates call “Parents’ Rights in Education” … colloquially known as the “No Homosexuality” law. However, Moricz was warned that his microphone would be cut off if he made any mention or invocation of that law. After organizing a student walkout against the then-pending legislation and a similar protest in downtown Sarasota, he decided to make his speech in a creative way.
He talks about his curly hair. His curly hair is a part of who he is. So he learned to accept it.
Moricz said the principal told him such remarks would be “polarizing and inappropriate for the school.” He said blushing. “I have learned that my human rights are controversial and therefore inappropriate for the school environment. I’m class president and my human rights don’t match my graduation speech at school. “
“I used to hate my curls, I spent mornings and nights ashamed of them trying to straighten this part of me but the daily damage of trying to fix myself has become overwhelming. contain,” said Moricz.
Critics say the language of the law is vague and could have far-reaching effects on students, possibly even those who have nothing to do with LGBTQ issues.
Moricz says he won’t compromise on his principles and he will find a way to be able to talk about his identity and the law and he can.
The dispute has attracted national attention. Moricz has appeared on MSNBC and ABC’s “Good Moring America”. Rolling Stone magazine featured him; Vice.com, a digital newspaper, covered his story.
You can also listen to ABC7’s podcast interview with Moricz right this.
The Sarasota School District has provided a statement stating that all student speech is pre-reviewed. “Students are reminded that graduation should not be a platform for personal political statements, especially those that are likely to disrupt the ceremony. If a student changes from this expectation during graduation, appropriate action may need to be taken. “
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