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Anti-Religion Group Blasts Teen Valedictorianís Prayer
Townhall.com ^ | June 6, 2013 | Todd Starnes

Posted on 06/07/2013 5:50:37 AM PDT by Kaslin

The Freedom From Religion Foundation blasted what it called the “open defiance” of a valedictorian who delivered The Lord’s Prayer during a high school graduation ceremony last Saturday in South Carolina.

Roy Costner, a senior at Liberty High School in Pickens, created national attention when he ripped up his pre-approved graduation speech and instead led the crowd in a recitation of The Lord’s Prayer.

A video of the speech was posted on YouTube and has since gone viral. It shows the 18-year-old setting aside his speech.

“I think most of you will understand when I say, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven,” he said as the crowd began to cheer.

He concluded his remarks by pointing to the sky and saying, “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”

The school district had been in a battle over public prayers after the FFRF filed a complaint objecting to what they called an “unconstitutional prayer practice.”

They hold the school district responsible for Costner’s open act of defiance and what they called a string of problematic religious violations.

“The valedictorian who so insensitively inflicted Christian prayer on a captive audience at a secular graduation ceremony, is a product of a school district which itself set an unconstitutional example by hosting school board prayer,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a prepared statement.

A school district spokesperson said the valedictorian will not be penalized for what he did and Costner told Fox News that he has absolutely no regrets.

“I’m happy with what I did,” Costner said. “I want this to glorify God. I want to use this as a witnessing tool and I hope others will stand up for God in our nation.”

He got the idea to deliver the prayer about two weeks ago when he learned that he had been selected as the top academic student in the graduating class. He was summoned to the principal’s office.

“She informed us that we could not have anything about religion or talk about God or Allah or whoever we choose to worship,” he said. “And they had to approve the speech prior to me going onto stage.”

The prayer controversy had gripped the small South Carolina community for quite some time – and many locals took issue with a group from Wisconsin causing problems.

“Our community is very passionate about prayer in our schools,” Costner told Fox News. “I began writing the speech and I knew from the start that I was going to include prayer.”

He talked it over with his father, the youth pastor at Fellowship Community Church. And he also sought the counsel of other pastors in the area.

“They wanted me to make sure I was doing it for God and not myself,” he said.

So Costner spent the next few days in deep prayer and Bible study.

“I asked God exactly what He wanted me to do,” he explained. “I was trying to think of a prayer that would suit all denominations. That’s why I went with The Lord’s Prayer.”

And on graduation day a very nervous Costner took his place at the ceremony – with a serious case of the jitters.

“I was extremely nervous,” he said. “I didn’t know what kind of reaction I was going to get. I didn’t know which way it was going to go.”

And there was another problem. Costner’s speech had already been placed in a binder – on the platform. He would not be able to bring a copy of his replacement speech on stage.

What happened will be remembered in Pickens for quite some time – when an 18-year-old boy defied a group of atheists, agnostics and freethinkers.

“I was always taught to stand for what I believe in,” he said. “That’s what I believe in. I was thanking my God before everyone. I wanted to give him a shout-out.”

As for his critics, Costner quoted a passage of Scripture from the Gospel of Matthew.

“If you deny me among men, I will deny you to the Father,” he said.

He also had a special message to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

“We are not in a country where we have freedom from religion,” he said. “We have freedom of religion.”

Costner said he will be attending Clemson University in the fall where he will study computer science.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: commencements; firstamendment; freedomofreligion; god; religion; roycostner; schools; thankgod; voluntaryprayer
"We have freedom of religion"

This cannot be repeated enough

1 posted on 06/07/2013 5:50:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin; xzins

Where are all the “Rules are Rules” Freepers out there?

I’d say this fellow deserves a feather in his cap.


2 posted on 06/07/2013 5:53:54 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds.)
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To: Kaslin

Why does it bother atheists so much if they don’t believe in God? They are obsessed with God.

Pray for America to Wake Up


3 posted on 06/07/2013 5:55:21 AM PDT by bray (Stop tolerating beheading!)
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To: bray

Anti-theists are obsessed with CONTROL.


4 posted on 06/07/2013 5:58:01 AM PDT by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: Kaslin

Tell the anti-religionists to blow it out their butts.

It’s time Americans got fed up with this BS of a small minority of God -haters telling us how to live.

SCREW em.


5 posted on 06/07/2013 5:58:41 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: P-Marlowe

“he ripped up his pre-approved graduation speech”

I love what he did to the notion that one awarded top education honors is incompetent to write a cogent legal speech.


6 posted on 06/07/2013 5:59:03 AM PDT by Mouton (108th MI Group.....68-71)
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To: bray

Had the valedictorian been a black female, there would be no screaming from the Leftists.

Had the valedictorian started yodeling the Muslim call to prayer, they would have had orgasms in the press section.

Tell me I’m wrong.


7 posted on 06/07/2013 5:59:37 AM PDT by Old Sarge (My "KMA List" is growing daily...)
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To: Kaslin

Was there an individual at the graduation who was actually “offended”, traumatized, berated, had their feelings hurt, feel their constitutional rights had been violated, scarred for life, etc....??


8 posted on 06/07/2013 5:59:55 AM PDT by jughandle
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To: P-Marlowe
Not sure what you mean ~ but the Supreme Court already said the school authorities can't dictate religious matters to students (Regent's v...) and that the students are free to be religious in, at, away from, school, etc.

If the kid's not complaining about the principal's instructions to avoid God, I don't see any cause of action.

The Atheists will just have to take their lumps on this one. Besides, they're the ones who asked for the original Regents v.... case. Maybe they want to go back to having schools dictate prayer to students.....

9 posted on 06/07/2013 6:01:16 AM PDT by muawiyah (Git yer Red Arm Bands here - $29.95 - NOT SOLD IN STORES - TAX FREE)
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To: Kaslin

Major kudos to Mr. Costner!

And thank you to Roy’s parents. You’ve done an excellent job and you are right to be extrememly proud.

I wish Roy all the best and may God richly reward you here, as well as in Heaven.


10 posted on 06/07/2013 6:01:23 AM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Jesus Christ is not a religion. He's the Truth.)
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To: P-Marlowe
Where are all the “Rules are Rules” Freepers out there?

Rules are rules. In particular the First Amendment protects our God-given right to the free exercise of religion. This was explicitly done without any government approval, so even the most rabid ACLU/FFRF moron cannot claim that it constitutes a government establishment of a state religion. The rules won, and those who want to be our rulers lost.

11 posted on 06/07/2013 6:02:07 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: Kaslin

More open defiance is needed.


12 posted on 06/07/2013 6:05:48 AM PDT by Tax-chick (The Commie Plot Theory of Everything. Give it a try - you'll be surprised how often it makes sense.)
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To: Venturer

Exactly


13 posted on 06/07/2013 6:07:34 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

I would suggest the anti-Christians ask the cheering crowd whether they felt this speaker had “inflicted” prayer on them. I’d say, judging from their reaction, that if anything was being inflicted, it was the godlessness of the haters.


14 posted on 06/07/2013 6:08:11 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: Pollster1

Well said!


15 posted on 06/07/2013 6:09:35 AM PDT by Tax-chick (The Commie Plot Theory of Everything. Give it a try - you'll be surprised how often it makes sense.)
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To: Tax-chick

I agree, but this is a start. We need to pray that others follow


16 posted on 06/07/2013 6:14:56 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Mouton

He not only wrote one, he wrote two. And he was able to give his speech with the written copy out of his possession. What’s the problem?


17 posted on 06/07/2013 6:23:45 AM PDT by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ √ě)
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To: Kaslin

Well done, young man.


18 posted on 06/07/2013 6:25:15 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Blather. Reince. Repeat.)
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To: P-Marlowe

I’m “rules are rules” Freeper, but I’m trying to understand your admonition. What “rule of law” Freepers like me want is for EVERYONE to follow the LAW, which is the Common Law first, the Constitution second, then the various CONSTITUTIONAL statutes that descend from local, state, and federal authorities. What the boy did was WELL WITHIN THE LAW, so I support it wholeheartedly. You cannot COMMAND speech, that is AGAINST the law.


19 posted on 06/07/2013 6:28:22 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can STILL go straight to hell)
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To: Venturer

As long as a Buddist valedictorian can say a prayer to Buddah, or a Hindu can pray to Krishna, or an atheist valedictorian can thank his parents for raising him to be a free thinker like Thomas Jefferson ... it’s all good. If you want Christian prayer to be
allowed then you may have to sit through, Wiccan prayer, or Voodo prayer
whether you like it or not and without complaining. And something tells me
there would be lots of complaints.


20 posted on 06/07/2013 6:29:50 AM PDT by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewiscrate)
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To: Kaslin

This kid’s father appeared on Pierce Morgan’s show. Morgan totally agreed with the father and said he thought it was ridiculous that the Lord’s Prayer couldn’t be said in a public school. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.


21 posted on 06/07/2013 6:29:51 AM PDT by goldi
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To: P-Marlowe; Kaslin

Free Exercise of religion means the Founders thought that my having to put up with someone talking about religion was far less significant than people being able to freely voice their opinions about their religion.

Isn’t it strange that these people want to “protect” others from having to hear speech of a religious nature.


22 posted on 06/07/2013 6:31:36 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Kaslin

23 posted on 06/07/2013 6:33:28 AM PDT by EternalVigilance ('He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that they cannot carry out their plans.' -- Job 5:12)
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To: Kaslin

Given that nothing is more boring than the standard, “approved” graduation speech, I’d be happy to see a trend of hymn-singing or reading of classic evangelistic sermons among graduates. Ballroom dance performances would be okay, too.


24 posted on 06/07/2013 6:34:09 AM PDT by Tax-chick (More open defiance is needed.)
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To: Kaslin
the FFRF filed a complaint objecting to what they called an “unconstitutional prayer practice.”

This makes me laugh.

From the Library of Congress:

Morality in the Army and Navy

Congress was apprehensive about the moral condition of the American army and navy and took steps to see that Christian morality prevailed in both organizations. In the Articles of War, seen below, governing the conduct of the Continental Army (adopted, June 30, 1775; revised, September 20, 1776), Congress devoted three of the four articles in the first section to the religious nurture of the troops. Article 2 "earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers to attend divine services." Punishment was prescribed for those who behaved "indecently or irreverently" in churches, including courts-martial, fines and imprisonments. Chaplains who deserted their troops were to be court-martialed.

Congress particularly feared the navy as a source of moral corruption and demanded that skippers of American ships make their men behave. The first article in Rules and Regulations of the Navy (below), adopted on November 28, 1775, ordered all commanders "to be very vigilant . . . to discountenance and suppress all dissolute, immoral and disorderly practices." The second article required those same commanders "to take care, that divine services be performed twice a day on board, and a sermon preached on Sundays." Article 3 prescribed punishments for swearers and blasphemers: officers were to be fined and common sailors were to be forced "to wear a wooden collar or some other shameful badge of distinction."



25 posted on 06/07/2013 6:36:54 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: xzins

Our Founders were such tough guys that they could endure the expression of opinions or sentiments other than their own. (Also the dentistry of their time.) The species has devolved over the generations since then, it seems.


26 posted on 06/07/2013 6:40:01 AM PDT by Tax-chick (More open defiance is needed.)
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To: Tax-chick
Given that nothing is more boring than the standard, “approved” graduation speech, I’d be happy to see a trend of hymn-singing or reading of classic evangelistic sermons among graduates. Ballroom dance performances would be okay, too.

Amen to that. I do not like sitting through graduation speeches.

27 posted on 06/07/2013 6:42:56 AM PDT by Gosh I love this neighborhood
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To: Kaslin
Roy Costner did a beautiful thing and he did it with grace and aplomb. His simple act of, in effect, dedicating his graduation honor to God, is legally untouchable as it was constitutionally protected and as a bonus, well received.

The left has made great strides in their attempts to, if not outright criminalize Christianity, which is their goal, at least marginalize the expression of religious faith (except Islam) in almost any form outside of church walls.

Roy Costner struck a blow for religious liberty and reminds all of us how far we've allowed the atheist left to smother our constitutionally-protected expression of religious faith and make the belief in a god other than the state and the practice of religion, specifically Christianity, if not a crime at least something to avoid for fear of 'offending' someone, somehow.

Perhaps young Mister Costner, with his benign but powerful rejection of his school's PC rubbish that prohibits anything 'religious' or a reference to God being spoken in a Valedictorian’s graduation address, will awaken more Americans to the ever-growing stifling of 'religious' speech (except Islam) and spur more of us to reject that prohibition with no real basis other than a hatred of faith from atheists and those attempting to weaken the cohesiveness of the people of America who, although hardly devout, are not atheists and resent that tiny group attempting to dictate to the vast majority.

28 posted on 06/07/2013 6:43:54 AM PDT by Jim Scott
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To: Hound of the Baskervilles

That these are even a distinct possibility that any or all will be tried shows the depths that Acirema has degenerated.


29 posted on 06/07/2013 6:47:46 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: BykrBayb

? I don’t have any problem with this, my comment was directed toward an establishment with a notion they must censure by pre approval a speech to be given by an academic excellent student. It smacks of an authorization to give free speech IMO.


30 posted on 06/07/2013 6:53:53 AM PDT by Mouton (108th MI Group.....68-71)
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To: bray

They are obsessed with God BECAUSE INSIDE they KNOW there really is a God. They are trying, attempting to convince themselves that there is no God. By always attacking anything to do with God, they are attempting to separate themselves, in their minds, from our God. BUT, there is no getting away. At the Great White Throne, THEY will be reminded of this. ALL of it. HE will judge them and THEY are not going to like where He puts them. But, always remember, God gave us the ability of CHOICE. FREE WILL. He did not want a bunch of robots or zombies coming to Him in worship of Him. He wanted people who wanted to come to Him, to worship Him. He gave us the choice. Sadly, the majority reject it and will find themselves in the lake of fire because of it.


31 posted on 06/07/2013 7:00:12 AM PDT by RetiredArmy (1 Cor 15: 50-54 & 1 Thess 4: 13-17. That about covers it.)
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To: Kaslin

I grew up during the 1960’s when “open defiance” was celebrated.

But, like most other things with the Left, it’s a one-way street.

Kudos to the young man.


32 posted on 06/07/2013 7:00:57 AM PDT by Arm_Bears (Refuse; Resist; Rebel; Revolt!)
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To: Gosh I love this neighborhood

If a valedictorian was honest he could say, “Even with my grades and test scores, I couldn’t get a full scholarship, because I’m a white male. I don’t want to run up a lot of debt for a useless degree, so I’m going to study online. With my brains, I still have a good chance of long term success. The rest of you, good luck in the Obama economy. You’re going to need it.”


33 posted on 06/07/2013 7:04:12 AM PDT by Tax-chick (More open defiance is needed.)
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To: Hound of the Baskervilles

Yes, I see which side you are on.

It’s a bit like having to sit through the Canadian National Anthem when you go to a sporting event near our Northern Border.

Funny though, it never harms me.


34 posted on 06/07/2013 7:09:40 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Kaslin

He exercised his 1st admendment and now the progressives are out to get him. By the way, what does “Congress shall make no law” mean?


35 posted on 06/07/2013 7:19:09 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again,")
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To: bray
Why does it bother atheists so much if they don’t believe in God?

BTTT!!!!!!

I don't get it either....
36 posted on 06/07/2013 7:28:30 AM PDT by Eagle of Liberty (Be the Enemy Within the Enemy Within...)
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To: Kaslin

“The evil are powerless if the good are unafraid.” - Ronald Reagan


37 posted on 06/07/2013 7:43:37 AM PDT by detective
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To: RetiredArmy
They are obsessed with God BECAUSE INSIDE they KNOW there really is a God.

EXACTLY!!! The only way the "anti-religious" can be safe in their own minds is to RID THE PUBLIC SQUARE of anything relating to religion.

OUT OF SIGHT....OUT OF MIND!!
38 posted on 06/07/2013 7:57:48 AM PDT by Eagle of Liberty (Be the Enemy Within the Enemy Within...)
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To: Kaslin
The Freedom From Religion Foundation blasted what it called the “open defiance” of a valedictorian who delivered The Lord’s Prayer during a high school graduation ceremony last Saturday in South Carolina

Now... I'm quite certain these leftards were just thrilled when Bradley Manning handed over classified information to Wikileaks. Of course, THOSE rules were meant to be broken... after all, we're just talking about national security.

39 posted on 06/07/2013 8:17:53 AM PDT by ScottinVA ( Liberal is to patriotism as Kermit Gosnell is to neonatal care.)
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To: bray
Why does it bother atheists so much if they don’t believe in God? They are obsessed with God.

I've been asking the same thing... if faith in God is all hogwash, why the hell should atheists care? They can just tune it out.

But the real issue... the internal conflict they're truly having is -- they're just.. not.. sure.

40 posted on 06/07/2013 8:21:31 AM PDT by ScottinVA ( Liberal is to patriotism as Kermit Gosnell is to neonatal care.)
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To: ScottinVA

The truth is they are communists hiding behind atheism to replace an all powerful govt for God. Same crew who were running around Germany and Russia.

Pray for America to Wake Up


41 posted on 06/07/2013 8:26:24 AM PDT by bray (Stop tolerating beheading!)
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To: xzins

Whenever I hear the phrase ‘freedom of religion’ I mentally acknowledge that the same applies to Muslims. However, at the same time and thoughts I object to Muslims using this religion aspect to impose an Islam society Sharia law over or together with our Constitution and derivative laws. Something has to give and I would not feel unconstitutional to impose on all Muslims for citizenship at least that they had to denounce any dedication to any other form or activities of Government that differs or or would conflict with our Constitution. My mother had to take such an oath to become a USA citizen. I would have much more ease if such a requirement turned many if not most Muslims back to to the Islamic nations.


42 posted on 06/07/2013 8:34:46 AM PDT by noinfringers2
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To: Kaslin

On another site, I read and participated in some of the commentary... atheists are more steeped in anger than non-belief, IMO. And I’m also entertained by their attitude that Christians are “judgmental” about other people, when at the same time, they’ll equate us with the Taliban.


43 posted on 06/07/2013 8:46:11 AM PDT by ScottinVA ( Liberal is to patriotism as Kermit Gosnell is to neonatal care.)
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To: Kaslin

Anti-theists have a religious devotion to attacking those with a religious devotion.


44 posted on 06/07/2013 8:47:25 AM PDT by Teacher317 (Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast)
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To: Mouton

See? No problem.


45 posted on 06/07/2013 10:07:45 AM PDT by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ √ě)
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To: Hound of the Baskervilles

I never complain about that newfangled Christian religion.


46 posted on 06/07/2013 2:11:42 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: Kaslin

Texas high school silences Valedictorian’s microphone during speech on Constitution, report says

Published June 08, 2013

FoxNews.com

High school Valedictorian Remington Reimer’s microphone was shut off during his speech, prompting questions over his free speech rights. (MyFoxDFW.com.)

A Texas high school silenced its Valedictorian’s microphone during his speech when he diverted from his pre-approved remarks and instead spoke about the Constitution.

Joshua High School graduate Remington Reimer, who was accepted into the Naval Academy, had his microphone silenced during his speech right after he told fellow graduates that school officials apparently threatened him with the move the day before, MyFoxDFW.com reported.

Colin Radford, a fellow graduate told MyFoxDFW.com that Reimer was “talking about getting constitutional rights taken away from him, and then he said “just yesterday they threatened to turn my microphone off,” and then his microphone went off.”

“Student speakers were told that if their speeches deviated from the prior-reviewed material, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content,” Joshua Independent School District said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/08/texas-high-school-silences-valedictorian-microphone-during-speech/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fnational+%28Internal+-+US+Latest+-+Text%29#ixzz2VdRc41mO


47 posted on 06/08/2013 7:32:06 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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