Freedom Folks

Sunday, June 18, 2006

ACLU Says Pulling The Plug On Free Speech Was The Right Call

This just in from Stop The ACLU...

The valedictorian of Foothill High, Brittany McComb, decided to share her faith voluntarily at her graduation cermony. However, before she could get to the part that meant the most to her, Christ, her microphone went dead. Her speech was in no way endorsed by her school, however the school directly participated in censoring her free speech.

The First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The judicial branch has extended the meaning of this amendment to any government body, not just Congress. However, I still don’t understand how so many ignore the part that says ” or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This is exactly what the school did to this young girl, prohibited the free exercize of her religious expression.

The decision to cut short McComb’s commencement speech Thursday at The Orleans drew jeers from the nearly 400 graduates and their families that went on for several minutes.

However, Clark County School District officials and an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union said Friday that cutting McComb’s mic was the right call. Graduation ceremonies are school-sponsored events, a stance supported by federal court rulings, and as such may include religious references but not proselytizing, they said.

They said McComb’s speech amounted to proselytizing and that her commentary could have been perceived as school-sponsored.

Before she delivered her commencement speech, McComb met with Foothill administrators, who edited her remarks. It’s standard district practice to have graduation speeches vetted before they are read publicly.

School officials removed from McComb’s speech some biblical references and the only reference to Christ.

It is shameful that the ACLU take such a backwards stance on this issue. The school obviously didn’t endorse the speech, so therefore they prohibited it, and acted upon it by censoring her.

But even though administrators warned McComb that her speech would get cut short if she deviated from the language approved by the school, she said it all boiled down to her fundamental right to free speech.

That’s why, for what she said was the first time in her life, the valedictorian who graduated with a 4.7 GPA rebelled against authority.

“I went through four years of school at Foothill and they taught me logic and they taught me freedom of speech,” McComb said. “God’s the biggest part of my life. Just like other valedictorians thank their parents, I wanted to thank my lord and savior.”

The ACLU lawyer said that it could have given the perception that the speech was school endorsed. However, the school could have put out a disclaimer. The ACLU said that her speech crossed the line from religious expression into the realm of preaching. I guess if anyone knows what kind of religious expression could cause a lawsuit, it would be the ACLU since they would most likely be the ones sueing. This girl was smart and brave, but her school was rude and cowardly.

“People aren’t stupid and they know we have freedom of speech and the district
wasn’t advocating my ideas,” McComb said. “Those are my opinions.

“It’s what I believe.”


Keep up the great work guys!!

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