A high school administrator shut down an assembly early as he apparently did not approve of conservative author Ben Shapiro’s comments on poverty.
In a video sent to TheBlaze, Shapiro is seen discussing the free market system and telling the group of students from Otay Ranch High School that a reason people remain in poverty is because they are atrocious at handling money — in response to which the high schoolers exclaimed and laughed.
Immediately afterward assistant principal and Title IX officer, Dean Nafarrete, took the microphone from students who were waiting to speak with Shapiro, senior editor at large for Breitbart News, and prematurely dismissed them from the event.
“I’m at a point right now where, quite frankly, I’m going to dismiss students,” the administrator said to groans from the high schoolers. “With all due respect, Mr. Shapiro, Mr. Shapiro represents a narrative that he is providing to all of you guys based off of his opinion, what he believes and what he wants to share with all of you. I know that the education was there for all of you to understand, left-side, right-side, whatnot, but also the opportunity to allow for him to impress on you some of his opinions on certain things, and I think a lesson was there for you to understand.”
“I think this is getting into now, it’s starting to cross a line,” he said.
The school official ignored Shapiro’s question of what that line would be and continued to dismiss students. He said that anyone who wished to stay to engage with Shapiro further was welcome to do so.
In an interview with TheBlaze, Shapiro said Nafarrete had called him approximately one week prior to the assembly in order to express concerns that he and other teachers had about the political nature of his speech. Shapiro assured him then that he had reviewed the high school’s speaker policies and there would be nothing “wildly terrible” in his talk.
“I was shocked,” Shapiro told TheBlaze of when the administrator took over the microphone. “The truth is, I’ve been doing this long enough to know when I’m dropping a bomb. I was kind of holding back. I’m prepared for this kind of thing. It’s still a shocking experience when a government-paid actor walks down the aisle and dismisses students.”
Shapiro said Nafarrete told him, not captured on the video, that some of the students in the back were from low income families and were offended by his remarks. According to Shapiro, Nafarrete said his job is to “protect the students” which includes “protecting their feelings.”
The event was fully funded and sponsored by Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth outreach organization, at the Southern California school, which drew more than 450 students, according to a post on the organization’s website.
“This video is proof that nobody should be surprised by the protests at Mizzou and other universities — students are conditioned to oppose conservative ideas before they even get to college,” Emily Jashinsky, a spokeswoman for YAF, told TheBlaze in an email. “The administrator’s failed attempt to condescend his students and ‘protect’ them from Ben’s conservative beliefs perfectly showcases the attitudes of campus bureaucrats across the country. These academic tyrants have clearly lost sight of their roles as educators.”
According to YAF, more than half of the students stayed after being dismissed in order to continue their discussion with Shapiro.
“The left has taken over the entire educational infrastructure, and this is the proof: the silencing of facts in order to avoid hurting the feelings of students,” Shapiro said in a statement to YAF. “No wonder we’re churning out new generations of Americans entirely unprepared for the real world and entirely unaware of basic principles of Western civilization.”
“Thanks to the brave students at Otay Ranch High School who stood up and were counted. And shame on the administration for coddling the precious butterflies by ‘protecting’ them from reality,” he continued.