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School relents on barring valedictorian from graduation speech

June 29, 2009 |  6:34 pm

Aurora Ponce, the 18-year-old South L.A. valedictorian who was barred from giving a speech at graduation because she participated in a student protest over growing class sizes and other concerns, was allowed to speak at Saturday's ceremony.

The teenager, her family and supporters met with officials of the Accelerated School for two hours Friday but the matter remained unresolved, Ponce said. She prepared her speech and school officials reviewed it Saturday morning before giving her approval minutes before the ceremony.

"It meant a lot to me," said Ponce, who is heading to UC Davis in August to study engineering. "All the seniors were supporting me, my parents were there supporting me, my teachers...I was really happy."

-- Seema Mehta