School founder retires amid valedictorian speech flap

July 9, 2018

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A Rochester charter school president who wouldn’t allow the school’s first black valedictorian to give the graduation speech has retired.

The board of trustees for the University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men announced Monday that it has accepted Joseph Munno’s retirement.

The board says it’s still reviewing why Munno refused to let Jaisaan (Jay’-sahn) Lovett give the valedictorian speech at last month’s commencement.

Lovett says he’s previously clashed with Munno, who hasn’t responded to media requests for comment. Munno founded the all-male school in 2010 after a nearly 40-year education career in Rochester’s city school district.

Lovett wound up delivering his speech at Rochester City Hall at the invitation of Mayor Lovely Warren.

Lovett has received a full scholarship to attend Clark Atlanta University in the fall.

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