Friday, August 31, 2007

Valedictorian Forced to Apologize for Mentioning Jesus in Address

Liberty Counsel press release:
Today, Liberty Counsel filed suit against Lewis Palmer School District on behalf of Erica Corder, a high school valedictorian who was forced to publicly apologize for sharing her Christian faith at graduation... During her 30-second message Erica spoke about her faith in Jesus Christ. Afterwards, she was escorted to see the assistant principal, who said she would not receive her diploma because of the speech she had given...

He said that she could only receive her diploma if she apologized to the school community. Erica prepared a statement saying the message was her own and was not endorsed by the principal. Brewer insisted that she include the words: "I realize that, had I asked ahead of time, I would not have been allowed to say what I did." Erica complied because she feared the school would withhold her diploma. She was also afraid that the school would put disciplinary notes in her file and would generate negative publicity, which could prevent her from becoming a school teacher. Principal Brewer sent out Erica's message in an e-mail to the entire high school community. Soon after, Erica received her diploma...

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "Valedictorians have the right to express their religious viewpoints while at the graduation podium. School officials have no right to threaten young graduates that their diplomas will be withheld. The school district's action in forcing Erica Corder to write an e-mail apologizing to the community for exercising her right to free speech is shocking."

Hat Tip: Cassy Fiano
Hat Tip 2: Stop the ACLU


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