Monday, June 26, 2006

Graduate's Diploma Held After She Speaks About Her Faith

Erica Corder, Valedictorian of her graduating class in Colorado, gave her speech in which she talked about God and her faith. When she finished her speech, and graduation was over, she was escorted by a teacher to the assistant principal. She was told by the assistant principal that she would not get her diploma until she scheduled a meeting with the principal.

A few days later, Erica was asked by the principal to draft an e-mail to parents explaining that he had not approved or condoned her words. Her father said that wasn't all she was asked to write.

"He also asked her to include an apology for what she said," he said, "but she was not willing to do that, because this was something God had asked her to do."

She did draft a note that made it clear neither the principal nor the other valedictorians knew what she intended to say.

But, this wasn't enough for the principal. He asked her to add one more sentence: "I realize that, had I asked ahead of time, I would not have been allowed to say what I did."

Mat Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, called such a requirement "outrageous."

"It's probably one of the most egregious things I've heard in terms of a graduation situation," he said. "I think it sends a horrible message not only to her, but also the other students, that what she did is illegal and shameful."

In fact, he said, she was completely within her constitutional rights to say whatever she wanted.

Staver said the school had no authority to hold her diploma. She had done her work required to graduate and should have gotten her diploma. He says what she did is protected by the Constitution. But, apparently, the school faculty didn't see things that way.

Linked at Conservative Cat

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LiberalViewer said...

Your description of the Erica Corder case is missing an important fact. See my YouTube video at: Fox News Forgets Fact in Christian Graduation Speech Story

It's still a close case, but we need all the facts to figure it out.

Barbara said...

I understand what you are saying. I knew about that, after I wrote this article.But, my view is - she shouldn't have been made to 'rehearse' what she was going to say. Give them each a minute or 5, whatever, and let them decide what they will say.I think Valedictorians and Salutatorians are smart enough to know what they can and can't say.She didn't break a law under freedom of speech. Both my son and I were Salutatorians, and we were given liberty to say whatever - 5 mins time.