DEWEY: I’m not Melvin Schneebly. I’m not even a teacher. Sorry, Roz. (Dewey gives a stunned Mrs. Mullins an apologetic smile. Confusion erupts in the crowd.) My name’s Dewey Finn. I came here ‘cause I needed a back-up band. I used to go here, though. I was kicked out when I was seven. I always felt like if this school had been easier on me – maybe things would have been different. Maybe my dad would have liked me better. Maybe he would have believed in me. After I got kicked out, I gave up on education. I was gonna be a rebel – stick it to the man. Rock ‘n roll. What I didn’t realize was that when I gave up on education. I gave up on myself.
I was so gung-ho not to do what people wanted me to do – I never really thought about what I wanted to do. A good education helps you figure-out who you are – what makes you happy. Not what makes your parents happy. Or your teachers. You. I’ve never been happier then when I was with these kids. Your kids are awesome. You should be proud of them. They gave me a real education and I betrayed them. I lied to them and I let them down. But don’t make them pay for my mistakes. I’m sorry, everybody.