This valedictorian is not only very book smart. Most importantly Texas' draconian laws forced an otherwise politically quiet person to use her large stage to admonish an evil law passed by a party moving us back to the dark ages. Her parents have got to be extremely proud of this young woman.
Paxton Smith is a National Hero
See full episodes here.
It is refreshing to know that we have young people like Paxton Smith in the pipeline. She is no political activist. But unbeknownst to her, she will become one because she will not allow the "system" to take her personal and economic freedoms away.
Lake Highlands High Valedictorian Pulls Switcheroo on Commencement Speech
You know the drill. Every valedictorian has to get her speech approved before she delivers it at commencement. You can’t let high school kids — even really smart, hardworking, responsible kids — just get up and say whatever they want to say. That leads to chaos and rioting.
So Paxton Smith, the valedictorian of Lake Highlands High School’s Class of 2021, with her 104.93 average, submitted her speech ahead of Sunday’s commencement ceremony at the high school stadium. It was about media and how much of it she consumes and how that consumption has shaped the way she sees the world.
But another matter kept nagging at her. She couldn’t stop thinking about the “heartbeat bill” that Gov. Greg Abbott had signed into law last month. The law prohibits abortions as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant, and it matters not if the pregnancy results from incest or rape. Abortion rights activists say it is the most restrictive law in the country. It will go into effect in September.
The more Smith thought about it, the more she was drawn to the conclusion that there was nothing more important that she could address with her time at the microphone.
Here is here speech. Short, tight, succinct.
May 30, 2021
As we leave high school we need to make our voices heard. I was going to get up here and talk to you about TV and content and media because those are things that are very important to me. However, in light of recent events, it feels wrong to talk about anything but what is currently affecting me and millions of other women in this state.
Recently the heartbeat bill was passed in Texas. Starting in September, there will be a ban on abortions that take place after 6 weeks of pregnancy, regardless of whether the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest. 6 weeks. Most women don’t even realize they’re pregnant by then. And so, before they have the time to decide if they are emotionally, physically, and financially stable enough to carry out a full-term pregnancy, before they have the chance to decide if they can take on the responsibility of bringing another human into the world, the decision has been made for them by a stranger. A decision that will affect the rest of their lives.
I have dreams, hopes, and ambitions. Every girl here does. We have spent our whole lives working towards our futures, and without our consent or input, our control over our futures has been stripped away from us. I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail me, that if I’m raped, then my hopes and efforts and dreams for myself will no longer be relevant. I hope you can feel how gut-wrenching it is, how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you.
And I’m talking about this today, on a day as important as this, on a day honoring the students’ efforts in twelve years of schooling, on a day where we’re all brought together, on a day where you will be the most inclined to hear a voice like mine, a woman’s voice, to tell you that this is a problem. A problem that can’t wait. I refuse to give up this platform to promote complacency and peace, when there is a war on my body and a war on my rights. A war on the rights of your sisters, a war on the rights of your mothers, a war on the rights of your daughters.
We cannot stay silent.