High school principal escorted off campus in Stockton after graduation speech

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) – A graduation speech results in a high school principal being escorted off campus to Stockton.

The speech was delivered at Stagg High School on Thursday morning and some attendees say there was nothing wrong with the content while others claim the principal organized the event on his own.

Although the class of 2021 may have received an in-person ceremony during a global pandemic, the event did not start without controversy.

Stockton Unified School District spokesperson Melinda Meza said Stagg High School principal Ben Nakamura was escorted off campus after his speech.

“Today was to celebrate the students,” Meza explained. “Unfortunately, Mr. Nakamura has chosen to use this platform for his own grievances. He was escorted to his car and returned his keys.

In a video posted on social media, Nakamura tells graduates to study hard and do their best.

He also spoke about his personal experience of losing his mother to a heroin overdose, neighborhood violence, race and helping the next generation.

“He said things like, ‘Successful people only get this way by stomping on themselves,” Meza said. “We have received many calls from parents complaining that the principal was using the graduation as a platform to share his own grievances.”

District officials asked Nakamura not to attend the noon and 3 p.m. ceremonies.

Sofia Colón, who has school children in the neighborhood, told FOX40 that Nakamura is loved by her students.

She says she can’t believe what happened.

“Anger, shock, sadness,” Colón said. “This speech tells me how honest this principal is with his students. Tell the students, be a mentor to your little brothers and sisters. He told us where he was from, how much he could be told, how vulnerable he was. That was my conclusion: don’t be sold out, tell the truth. ”

In the speech, Nakamura says he would not be returning to high school because the school board voted to remove him. No reason was given for his removal.

FOX40 tried to get in touch with Nakamura, who only said he had been fired and tried to reapply for the job, but the board did not approve to bring him back.

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