The captain of one of Australia’s most prestigious private high schools has given teachers, parents and administrators a lecture about elitism and censorship.
Sarah Haynes, an outgoing senior pupil at Ravenswood School for Girls on Sydney’s North Shore, used her farewell speech to question the motives of the school, saying it was being run too much like a business “where more value is placed on those who provide good publicity or financial benefits”.
She said she is thankful for the opportunities she received during school life, but doesn’t feel as if others, who may be just as deserving, receive the same chances.
“Some people work hard and get noticed, and good on them. But some people work hard, struggle and get overlooked,” she said.
She also claimed one of her earlier speeches as captain had been watered down by teachers to protect the school’s image and not upset parents.
“Everything I wrote had to be censored by those higher up than me,” she said.
“I sent this to those in charge of me and received a reply: ‘Great speech but change the ending. No parent wants to hear that the school isn’t perfect’.”
At the end of the blistering speech, Haynes received a standing ovation from her fellow students.
Watch Sarah’s full speech, above.