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Parents outrage as school cuts off valedictorian’s microphone as he makes unauthorised remarks about the value of freedom of speech

5 min read

  • Remington  Reimer was to make the Valedictory speech
  • All  speeches had to be pre-approved by the school
  • Reimer  deviated from the script and his mic was pulled
  • Continued  speak even after being muted although nobody could hear him

By  James Daniel

PUBLISHED: 15:40 EST, 8 June  2013 |  UPDATED: 15:57  EST, 8 June 2013

A Texas high school silenced its  Valedictorian’s microphone during his speech when he diverted from his  pre-approved remarks and began to speak about the constitution.

Joshua High School graduate Remington Reimer,  who was accepted into the Naval Academy, had his microphone silenced during his  speech right after he told fellow graduates that school officials had threatened  to cut him off the day before.

His speech began like any other: ‘I’m honored  to stand before you today as the Valedictorian of 2013!’

Scroll down  for video…

Censored: Remington Reimer, seen speaking here, was giving the valedictory speech when his microphone was turned off because he deviated from approved remarksCensored: Remington Reimer, seen speaking here, was  giving the valedictory speech when his microphone was turned off because he  deviated from approved remarks

Turned off: Up until the point the sound was cut, the speech had been well receivedTurned off: Up until the point the sound was cut, the  speech had been well received

 

Gifted: Remington Reimer's (left) classmates at Joshua High School called him 'Spock', not due to any lack of human emotion but because he is 'the most gifted, academically excellent student that Joshua High School has ever produced'Gifted: Remington Reimer’s (left) classmates at Joshua  High School called him ‘Spock’, not due to any lack of human emotion but because  he is ‘the most gifted, academically excellent student that Joshua High School  has ever produced’

Reimer thanked his parents, teachers and  classmates. ‘Most people have never ever heard me speak much less see me smile,’  said Reimer.

He then talked about his faith and God, ‘Most  important I want to thank God for giving us the only son who went through  excruciating death on a cross…’

 

Then he said it was his constitutional right  to talk about such topics. ‘I was threatened with having the mic turned off,’  and right then the mic was turned off.

Reimer continued with his speech, but some  thought that he had finished and began applauding.

Warning: Speakers were told to stick to his prepared remarks, but Reimer, soft-spoken and headed to the Air Force Academy, didn't follow the scriptWarning: Speakers were told to stick to his prepared  remarks, but Reimer, soft-spoken and headed to the Air Force Academy, didn’t  follow the script

He continued speaking even though few could  hear him.

Colin Radford, a fellow graduate explained  what happened to MyFoxDFW.com ‘He just said, he was talking about getting  constitutional rights getting taken away from him, and then he said, just  yesterday they threatened to turn my microphone off, and then his microphone  went off.’

‘Student speakers were told that if their  speeches deviated from the prior-reviewed material, the microphone would be  turned off, regardless of content,’ Joshua Independent School District said in a  statement.

Colin Radford: Fellow classmate of Reimer's said that everyone knew the rules about sticking to the script so the silencing came as no surpriseColin Radford: Fellow classmate of Reimer’s said that  everyone knew the rules about sticking to the script so the silencing came as no  surprise

Zachary Hull: Another of Reimer's classmates also believes the school were within their rights to lower the sound of his speechZachary Hull: Another of Reimer’s classmates also  believes the school were within their rights to lower the sound of his  speech

WAS THE SCHOOL RIGHT TO CENSOR THEIR  VALEDICTORIAN?

Joshua school district policy gives these  rules about graduation speeches by valedictorian, salutatorians and class  historians.

‘The subject of the addresses shall be  related to the purpose of the graduation ceremony, marking and honoring the  occasion, honoring the participants and those in attendance, and the student’s  perspective on purpose, achievement, life, school, graduation, and looking  forward to the future.

The student shall stay on the subject, and  the student shall not engage in speech that: Is obscene, vulgar, offensively  lewd, or indecent; Creates reasonable cause to believe that the speech would  result in material and substantial interference with school activities or the  rights of others; Promotes illegal drug use; Violates the intellectual property  rights, privacy rights, or other rights of another person; Contains defamatory  statements about public figures or others; or Advocates imminent lawless action  and is likely to incite or produce such action.

Source: Joshua ISD policy  FNA (Local) Student Rights and Responsibilities, Student Expression

‘When one student’s speech deviated from the  prior-reviewed speech, the microphone was turned off, pursuant to District  policy and procedure,’ the statement said.

Some attendees initially asked if the  microphone was turned off because Reimer mentioned religion.

However, since the ceremony opened and closed  with a prayer, and Reimer’s speech mentioned God and Jesus throughout, graduate  Zachery Hull believes it had nothing to do with religion.

‘Freedom of speech,’ Hull said. ‘He said what  he was going to say, they did what they had to do. Everyone was  right.’

In addition to being the smartest kid in his  class, Reimer was active in Junior ROTC and has accepted a full scholarship to  the U.S. Naval Academy, friends say.

In his speech, he mentioned God and Jesus and  his religious faith while urging others to stick up for their constitutional  rights.

Administrators say his religious comments had  nothing to do with their decision to cut him off, noting that other students  were allowed to make religious comments which had been pre-approved.

Joshua school district administrators say  they censored Reimer because he began to stray from his prepared  remarks.

‘At the time that the speech was deviated  from, the microphone was turned off — and they were told that, prior to the  graduation ceremony, regardless of content,’ Superintendent Fran Marek  said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2338095/Valedictorians-mic-cut-impromptu-speech-value-constitution.html#ixzz2Vgbd3uhW Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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