New Jersey students protest after valedictorian bumped from giving graduation speech

LODI (WABC) -- Fellow students showed support for the valedictorian at a New Jersey high school when he was banned from giving the graduation speech.

The students in Lodi are angry about the school's decision to let another student speak.

For three hours, dozens of students protested in support of Devan Solancki, the valedictorian who found out last week he was bumped from giving the big speech at graduation.

"They told me they were changing the policy on who would give the speech," he said.

While the protest went on for about three hours, students and teachers came to the windows around the school waving and showing thumbs up signs of support.

I reached out to the principal and the superintendent but both told me that because of student confidentiality, they could not comment on him or the change of policy.

Students say the policy is now that someone from the National Honor Society will speak.

Devan, who is headed to Harvard in the fall, is smart, but can't make sense of any of this. Monday he went to the guidance office three times, and says he was ignored.

"I went there first, third and then fifth period, and said to the counselor finally I went to settle this peacefully, and she took that as a threat," said Devan.

"I don't think what he said in the guidance office was a threat at all, he was maybe a little frustrated and they're just trying to find an excuse to get rid of him," said one student.

Devan says he was told he could not come back until he had a mental evaluation, which he passed earlier in the day.

Meantime his mother was sitting in a car, making sure Devan was OK, and said she was proud of him.

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