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Student gets heat for giving valedictorian speech in Spanish

Posted at 11:15 AM, Jun 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-20 11:15:42-04

NEWMAN, Calif (CNN) – A California teenager is speaking out about the heat he took for giving his valedictorian speech in Spanish last month.

Saul Tello said he asked to do two versions — in English and Spanish– but was told there wasn’t any time.  The 18 year old wanted his parents to be able to understand his entire speech.

“I actually said in advance that I would like to apologize for people who don’t speak Spanish,” said Tello. “In our school there’s a big Spanish-speaking community. I felt that it would be good.” 

The schools superintendent said he's gotten letters from all over the country complaining that he allowed the Spanish speech to be given.

"Anybody who walks into the stadium in the future should understand what's being said.  Whether we put it in print or do it verbally in both languages," said School Superintendent  Ed Felt. 
The school district said most of the students in the 10-thousand person town, come from Spanish speaking homes.

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