“Tinkering” With Students’ Civil Liberties

Video: Valedictorian silenced after mentioning God, faith « Hot Air

I’ve made a number of speeches at a lot of private venues, and I’ve never been asked to submit my remarks for approval from the host organizations. Of course, I’m not a high-school student, either, and student discipline is a legitimate interest for schools and school districts. On the other hand, schools aren’t private organizations — they’re part of the state, and the state doesn’t have carte blanche in censoring the speech of students, especially when it comes to expressing religious beliefs, which have no real potential discipline issues other than the potential distaste for specific religious beliefs, or religious beliefs in general.

If all that happened was a reaction to deviation from a prepared speech, then Joshua ISD acted in an immature and retaliatory manner for which they should apologize


I despise “one the one hand, then on the other” moderates (spit) who love to take both sides of an issue in order to demonstrate their oh-so-smug impartiality and objectivity.

This was an outrageous violation of this student’s First Amendment rights. Courts have repeatedly stated that schools cannot exercise their in loco parentis powers to violate students’ constitutionally guaranteed liberties, although the area is not as bright-lined as other areas of constitutionaol jurisprudence.

Joshua doesn’t owe an apology for anything to anybody.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


“Tinkering” With Students’ Civil Liberties — 7 Comments

    • Remington is the student’s first name, his full name is Remington Reimer, which might work as-is.

      Now that that’s straight, Ed Morrissey didn’t use the one hand, other hand, he placed blame on the school district for either a minor infraction for jumping on a deviation from an agreed speech, or the more serious abridgement of the First amendment.

      According to the story, “He sent in a prior speech before that and they threw it away so he wasn’t going to let them tell him what to say – what not to say,” said graduate Bryce Daniels. If that’s not a First Amendment censorship issue, what is? I believe you have the right of it, and Ed was wrong to bring up the possibility of a lesser charge.

  1. How are we going to teach our kids what to think if we let them say any old thing that comes into their heads? Why, you’re all acting like the boy has some kind of government-guaranteed right to speak his mind. Crazy talk.

  2. Do you think a high school commencement speech would pass muster on any conservative position? Imagine he wanted to talk about our inalienable RTKBA? Or how our government is violating our 4th Amendment rights? Imagine if his speech was about how his own 1st Amendment rights were violated by his own State run school? Shot down in a minute with punishment meted out in every single case is my guess.

    A speech extolling our efforts to curb Global Warming and how The AlGore is the new Jesus of Sustainabily. Bravo! Go out there and exercise that Freedom of Speech rights to your heart’s content.

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