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Suncoast applauds graduation speech from Pine View School class president

Speech at Pine View School graduation stirring up a lot of discussion.
Speech at Pine View School graduation stirring up a lot of discussion.(WWSB)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:41 PM EDT
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OSPREY, Fla. (WWSB) - Zander Moricz’s graduation speech at Pine View School for the Gifted Sunday afternoon grabbed a lot of attention.

“We thought the speech was wonderful, it was very inspiring and clever at the same time,” said Mary Tavarozzi, Board of Directors President for ALSO Youth. “It would’ve been ideal if he could’ve given the speech that he originally wanted to give.”

Zander, who is openly gay, was told by the school’s principal that his microphone would be cut off if he talked about gay rights or Florida’s controversial new “Parental Rights in Education” law. He went about his speech in a creative way, still getting his message across.

“I think everything that he’s doing is awesome, I think it’s fantastic that he is doing so much to take a stand,” said Lily Lewis, a ninth-grade student at Pine View.

Sarasota School Board Vice Chair Tom Edwards was at the ceremony. Edwards says he is very proud of Zander, even mentioning one of the quotes from Zander’s speech.

“Those with the most power are coming after those with the least,” said Edwards. “That’s what’s important to Zander -- social justice.”

There’s hope from many that Zander’s speech inspire students everywhere when it comes to issues such as being gay.

“There’s still a lot of LGBTQ youth going to school in Sarasota County,” said Tavarozzi. “They need to be reassured that they aren’t being erased, that they will be respected and affirmed, and they will be able to go to school as they are, who they are.”

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