There was an extraordinary scene in Texas that pitted student rights against school authority at the graduation for Joshua High School. Remington Reimer (great name by the way) has been accepted to the United States Naval Academy and was the speaker at the graduation. When he began his speech he mentioned that the school officials threatened to cut off his mike if he deviated from his speech. The mike then went dead.
Just before the mike was cut off, Reimer a student said that he was “talking about getting constitutional rights taken away from him.” The district insisted that it did only what it promised to do: “Student speakers were told that if their speeches deviated from the prior-reviewed material, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content. When one student’s speech deviated from the prior-reviewed speech, the microphone was turned off, pursuant to District policy and procedure.”
There is some suggestion that Reimer wanted to talk about the ban on any discussion of religion or any prayer. The ban on prayer is understandable as a legal matter. However, there is no strict rule against any mention of religion in a discussion of constitutional rights. Likewise, while it is understandable that the school wants to approve speeches at such an important event, I wonder whether such a draconian approach is necessary. It was far more upsetting to see the speech censored than to hear the remarks. Certainly the school is not responsible for such an off-script departure. I would have thought it would have been better for an official to quietly whisper to Reimer that he needed to return to his speech. I do not condone the breaking of an agreement to stick with a prepared speech at the graduation. Such issues should be raised before the graduation. Yet, the scene of cutting off the speech left a terrible impression about the school environment.
What do you think?
Source: Burleson Star