Saturday, June 24, 2006

Valedictorian Will Sue Nevada School Officials

On Thursday, the Rutherford Institute announced that it has agreed to represent Brittany McComb, the Las Vegas, Nevada high school valedictorian whose microphone was unplugged by school officials when she began to speak about her Christian beliefs during her graduation speech. (See prior posting.) Attorneys plan to file suit in federal court claiming that McComb's free speech rights were violated and that she was denied equal protection of the laws.

Meanwhile, another incident reported in the Colorado Springs, Colorado Gazette earlier this month suggests that students are beginning to plan to mislead school officials about what they will say at graduation. High schooler Erica Corder departed from the draft of her graduation speech that she had submitted to the principal in order to sound a religious theme that she feared would otherwise have been banned. At the Colorado Springs High School ceremony, 15 students co-wrote a speech and each delivered 30-seconds of it. Erica Corder's surprise 30 seconds included the following: "We are all capable of standing firm and expressing our own beliefs, which is why I need to tell you about someone who loves you more than you could ever imagine. He died for you on a cross over 2,000 years ago, yet was resurrected and is living today in Heaven. His name is Jesus Christ. If you don't already know Him personally, I encourage you to find out more about the sacrifice He made for you, so that you now have the opportunity to live in eternity with Him." The school's principal has told Corder to send an e-mail to parents to explain herself and acknowledge the school was not involved.