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June 11, 2002

April showers bring May censorship.

Graduation time is here again. Time for those invitations from kids you barely remember, who hope you will send them some money. Time for the perennial whine of atheists over their imagined right to censor all religious speech.

This year is no exception of course. At the Plainview Junior-Senior High School in Sheridan Lakes, Colorado their math teacher, Sean Shields, has decided that since his seventh grade daughter, Ashlee, will be volunteering as an usher at the ceremonies they should have the right to personally ban the prayer, the senior class voted to recite. Their reason? They're "offended" by religion. Did you catch that? Because they claim they are "offended" by religion, and they've voluntarily chosen to attend the ceremonies, the Constitutional rights of the entire senior class should be scrapped.

Meanwhile at the Woodbine High School graduation ceremonies in Woodbine, Iowa, the parents of a pair of twins in the school choir have succeeded in getting a Federal Judge to rip up the Constitution and ban the choir from singing the Lord's Prayer. The twin girls are 14, therefore not graduating, and were told they didn't have to attend, let alone sing, but since the reason is censorship, not "offense", that wasn't good enough. The Judge, an apparently senile Charles Wolle, wrote, "The school cannot ... force a student to choose between attending and participating in school functions and attending only to avoid personally offensive religious rituals," Oh really, what about all the other students in choir that wanted to participate?  This lawsuit was timed so that it hit the hand picked Liberal judge just in time to ensure that the school wouldn't be able to respond in time for the graduation.

But it's not all bad news. Shannon Wray, the Salutatorian, at Hollidaysburg Area High School, presented her written speech to the school before the graduation. The school, after reading a copy of Shannon's speech, demanded she remove "He, even more so than the people I love, has been there every day, never forcing me to do anything, but always encouraging me to stretch my limits and strive for the best He has to offer. His name is Jesus; He is my greatest friend. It is because of Him that I have achieved and succeeded, and, no matter how much knowledge Hollidaysburg High has bestowed upon me, I would know nothing if I didn't know Him.", and demanded she not include any other religious references. Shannon obviously wasn't a salutatorian for nothing. She contacted Liberty Counsel, a religious civil liberties legal defense organization, and filed suit. The night before her lawyers were to file for an temporary restraining order in federal court against the school, the school backed down and allowed Shannon to deliver her original speech, unedited. Hurray for Shannon!

And last and most certainly not least is Jason Niemeyer, valedictorian who graduated from Oroville High School in 1999. Knowing the insanity atheists use in censoring Christian speech, he wrote two graduation speeches, one telling of his relationship with Jesus Christ, the other, religious, but non-sectarian. Both were rejected by the school. Jason was not allowed to speak, lead the flag salute or participate in the graduation ceremony. He subsequently sued the school and after it became apparent the school was actually going to have to face the real Constitution, not the hacked up twisted one Liberal assume is the Constitution, they settled for $59,000. 

Hopefully the seniors at Plainview and Woodbine can get the same justice against those who have infringed upon their Constitutional rights.


Posted by Jack Lewis at June 11, 2002 08:05 AM