The school may have turned off his microphone, but Remington Reimer still got the last word. Two weeks after Joshua High School made headlines for interrupting the Valedictorian’s speech, the superintendent is finally showing some remorse. The story spread like wildfire on June 6, when Remington decided to add to his “pre-approved remarks” and talk about his relationship with Jesus instead.
“[M]ost importantly,” Reimer told his class, “I want to thank God for giving up his only Son for us to an excruciating death on a cross, so His blood would cover all our shortcomings and provide for us a way to heaven in accepting His grace.” Most of the audience missed the rest of Remington’s speech, but that didn’t matter. In the next few days, the media’s coverage only amplified the message the school had tried to censor. “We are fortunate,” he said, “to live in a country where we can express our beliefs — where our mics won’t be turned off, as I have been threatened to be… I will not have my freedom of speech taken away from me. And I urge you to do the same.”
Turns out, not everyone thought Reimer’s speech was as courageous as his class did. The Joshua High School principal Mick Cochran called Remington’s father into the office the next day and vowed to crush the Valedictorian’s career goals. “Specifically,” said Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser, “he threatened to send a letter to the U.S. Naval Academy advising them that Remington has poor character.”
Not only was it a childish and vindictive response, but Cochran’s bullying exposed the school to a very public and very damaging legal fight — which experts agree would have been an open-and-shut case. Apart from violating Reimer’s free speech, Texas has a specific law on viewpoint discrimination that protects students who talk openly about their beliefs. The school district was in a no-win situation on either count, which may explain why the superintendent felt compelled to apologize.
Read the rest at Family Research Council