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Old 30th August 2007, 12:40 PM   #1
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Valedictorian Files Suit Over 'Jesus' Speech

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/educ...54/detail.html

Quote:
"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."
They should take away her diploma for believing such crap....oh yeah...I guess they did.
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Old 30th August 2007, 12:50 PM   #2
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I wonder how any Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist students automatically dropped their old belief system and picked up the Banner of Christ from her little speech. Not many, I'd guess.
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Old 30th August 2007, 12:51 PM   #3
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Overreaction much?

I don't really see the problem with her speech.
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Old 30th August 2007, 12:54 PM   #4
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I just noticed that Erica Corder (the person involved in the speech) now works for the Liberty Council in Florida, which is 'dedicated to advancing religious freedom'.

Funny, with all the 'religious' people working in Washington, I still wonder where their 'rights' are being so blatantly violated...
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Old 30th August 2007, 12:55 PM   #5
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First off, I am the most athiest atheist of all...

What the hell was the school hoping to achieve by taking away her diploma? Even if I agree that she shouldn't say things like that at a graduation, I'm not sure how holding her diploma makes the situation any better. Feelings were hurt, milk was spilt. Wah. Now suck it up and move on with life.
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Old 30th August 2007, 12:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
First off, I am the most athiest atheist of all...

What the hell was the school hoping to achieve by taking away her diploma? Even if I agree that she shouldn't say things like that at a graduation, I'm not sure how holding her diploma makes the situation any better. The milk is spilt. Suck it up and move on with life.
So there should be no recourse, and thus no need to approve speaches for school graduations? THe only recourse should be for slander?

If you have no way to enforce a rule, you can not have a rule.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:00 PM   #7
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She broke the rules. All she has to do is apologize for breaking the rule and she gets the diploma. Heck, even doesn't even have to apologize, she just has to ACKNOWLEDGE she broke the rule.

Schools need to be able to enforce some standards for what is allowed during student speeches. This is not an issue about religion, but about a deliberate violation of school policy and the resultant consequences.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:06 PM   #8
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If Jesus was such an important part of my life that I couldn't follow the rules established by a public school, I would probably go to a Christian school, but that's just me.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by quixotecoyote View Post
She broke the rules. All she has to do is apologize for breaking the rule and she gets the diploma. Heck, even doesn't even have to apologize, she just has to ACKNOWLEDGE she broke the rule.

Schools need to be able to enforce some standards for what is allowed during student speeches. This is not an issue about religion, but about a deliberate violation of school policy and the resultant consequences.
If she didn't think it would be a problem, why did she slip it into the final speech, and not in the rehearsals?
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:08 PM   #10
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About ten years ago, my daughter was upset at a prayer being said at a University of Del Engineering event. She wrote a letter to the President of the school. I thought they wouldn't do anything, but the President wrote all professors and dept heads and said from then on, there would be no expression of religion at any school event, including prayer.
My kids went to many schools (Univ of Mich, Cornell, Syracuse, etc.). None of them could hold a candle to Univ of Del -- a very fair school where the student comes first with all who teach and administer.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
First off, I am the most athiest atheist of all...
Wow. I knew there were different levels of x-ians but to be the "most atheist atheist".
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
So there should be no recourse, and thus no need to approve speaches for school graduations? THe only recourse should be for slander?

If you have no way to enforce a rule, you can not have a rule.
I'm not so much attacking their rule as the practical outcome of their actions. They might as well have set up a cross on the football field so she could at least martyr herself properly. I say don't throw her into the briar patch.

Besides, the "damage" was so minor that enforcing the rule in this case was bound to cause more trouble than it is worth. Part of enforcing the rules is being judicious.

That isn't to say there aren't ANY circumstances I wouldn't withold a diploma.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Temporal Renegade View Post
If she didn't think it would be a problem, why did she slip it into the final speech, and not in the rehearsals?
That's where the deliberate violation comes in. If she had tried to put it in at rehearsal and been told no, THEN she would have a legitimate freedom of speech issue. But she didn't, so we don't know whether it would have been or could have been made permissible. The fact that she broke school policy in making her speech rather than following school policy and being suppressed means that the blame falls on her rather than the school.

If the school had actually engaged in religious discrimination that would be a problem. From all the evidence available, it didn't.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:13 PM   #14
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Do schools really have 15 valedictorians these days? Doesn't that detract a little bit from the honor? Is it so they can get lots of kids into Ivy Leagues?
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:14 PM   #15
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Would the people supporting this girls right to free speech support my right to say the perfectly secular comment that I owe my success from learning that faith and feelings are bad ways to find the truth and not to trust anyone who makes you feel guilty about asking questions as chances are they are lying to you or themselves?

I was a Valedictorian and an atheist, but somehow I don't think my rights to free speech would have been as loudly supported by those who support this girl. Yet, such a speech would have violated no church-state laws.

This is the problem with the whole notion that religion is special and deserves special respect. If the girl was a wiccan or satanist crediting her beliefs to her success, then I think the fundies would be far less interested in her free speech. Freedom of speech and separation of church and state is an important way to keep peoples "magical higher laws" from gettig special privilege. Sure, it doesn't convert anyone... but it should be no more tolerated than the examples above and less tolerated than my example (which I'd be too chicken to give) of a perfectly secular speech.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hammer_of_Thor View Post
Wow. I knew there were different levels of x-ians but to be the "most atheist atheist".
Read what I typed carefully. I was poking fun at the common mispelling of "atheist".
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by quixotecoyote View Post
That's where the deliberate violation comes in. If she had tried to put it in at rehearsal and been told no, THEN she would have a legitimate freedom of speech issue. But she didn't, so we don't know whether it would have been or could have been made permissible. The fact that she broke school policy in making her speech rather than following school policy and being suppressed means that the blame falls on her rather than the school.

If the school had actually engaged in religious discrimination that would be a problem. From all the evidence available, it didn't.

Man, I gotta say, one day this country's going to be PACKED with lawyers, all specializing in free speech cases, skirting the rules and thinking they're more special than anyone else.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:19 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
I'm not so much attacking their rule as the practical outcome of their actions. They might as well have set up a cross on the football field so she could at least martyr herself properly. I say don't throw her into the briar patch.

Besides, the "damage" was so minor that enforcing the rule in this case was bound to cause more trouble than it is worth. Part of enforcing the rules is being judicious.

That isn't to say there aren't ANY circumstances I wouldn't withold a diploma.
Her arguement is I knowingly broke the rules, and because of free speach I should be able to say what ever I want. Her entire arguement is wrong.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:20 PM   #19
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This is all, as far as I know, settled law. Students do not have a right to preach religion at commencement ceremonies in public schools. That has been ruled clearly by the USSC, as far as I know. The school was acting properly to prohibit it, and she violated those rules, which are designed to conform to the law.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
Read what I typed carefully. I was poking fun at the common mispelling of "atheist".
I noticed that. I found it humorous to think of different levels of atheists.

Considering all the posts on here of what a "real" x-ian is.

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Old 30th August 2007, 01:26 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by quixotecoyote View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Temporal Renegade
If she didn't think it would be a problem, why did she slip it into the final speech, and not in the rehearsals?

That's where the deliberate violation comes in. If she had tried to put it in at rehearsal and been told no, THEN she would have a legitimate freedom of speech issue. But she didn't, so we don't know whether it would have been or could have been made permissible. The fact that she broke school policy in making her speech rather than following school policy and being suppressed means that the blame falls on her rather than the school.

If the school had actually engaged in religious discrimination that would be a problem. From all the evidence available, it didn't.
Agree.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:55 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by MWare View Post
Do schools really have 15 valedictorians these days? Doesn't that detract a little bit from the honor? Is it so they can get lots of kids into Ivy Leagues?
Technically, a valedictory is a farewell speech, and a valedictorian is the person delivering that speech. Traditionally, the person chosen to be valedictorian was, and hence has become synonymous with, the highest ranking student in the class, but it isn't strictly necessary that it be the case.

15 of them seems a bit much, however.
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Old 30th August 2007, 01:58 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by tsg View Post
Technically, a valedictory is a farewell speech, and a valedictorian is the person delivering that speech. Traditionally, the person chosen to be valedictorian was, and hence has become synonymous with, the highest ranking student in the class, but it isn't strictly necessary that it be the case.

15 of them seems a bit much, however.
It happens most often in schools that have done away with weighted grading practices. An A is and A is an A is an A. Thus Every all-A student is a valedictorian.
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Old 30th August 2007, 02:05 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
First off, I am the most athiest atheist of all...

Them's fightin' words 'round these parts.
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Old 30th August 2007, 02:07 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by quixotecoyote View Post
It happens most often in schools that have done away with weighted grading practices. An A is and A is an A is an A. Thus Every all-A student is a valedictorian.
That had occurred to me after I had posted. But 15 is still too many. They should have a steel cage match to decide the winner.
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Old 30th August 2007, 02:09 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by tsg View Post
But 15 is still too many. They should have a steel cage match to decide the winner.
Yeah, 'cause nerds like that are so well-equipped to handle cage matches. Why not a spelling bee instead?
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Old 30th August 2007, 02:11 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
Yeah, 'cause nerds like that are so well-equipped to handle cage matches. Why not a spelling bee instead?
Because I don't really care who wins. I just want to see a brawl.
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Old 30th August 2007, 02:49 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
Overreaction much?

I don't really see the problem with her speech.
Sorry but I consider it a blatent and purposeful slap at every non-xtian in the audience and most of the normal xtians. Either she is an idiot, a zealot or a purposeful troublemaker. Any of those should have disqualified her from graduation
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Old 30th August 2007, 05:25 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
Overreaction much?
You're the third post!?!

Quote:
I don't really see the problem with her speech.
I started this thread because I thought it was funny...in a sad way.

Here you have a valedictorian - someone who, it is thought, loves knowledge. And yet in her valedictorian speech(!) - she proposes that "belief" in the story of a crucified god-man who lived in the Middle East 2000 years ago will ensure everlasting life. And then in a veiled threat

Quote:
"...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."
She informs her classmates (and everyone listening) that they've been warned and if they fail to heed her words - they will spend eternity burning in hell.

Now c'mon that's funny...but in a sad way.
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Old 30th August 2007, 05:32 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
Besides, the "damage" was so minor..
She threatened the entire audience!
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Old 30th August 2007, 06:00 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Temporal Renegade View Post
I wonder how any Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist students automatically dropped their old belief system and picked up the Banner of Christ from her little speech. Not many, I'd guess.
I wonder how the religious liberty crowed would have felt if her religion had been satanism and she credited him for her diligence and ruthlessness... somehow I don't she'd convert anyone... but I bet none of the faith heads would be screaming about her being discriminated against because of her religion.
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Old 30th August 2007, 06:08 PM   #32
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I really think that if she'd simply thanked God and left it at that, no one would have had a problem with it.
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Old 30th August 2007, 06:15 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
First off, I am the most athiest atheist of all...
Hey! That's my line!


Is this why USA has so many churches? That the banning of stuff like this causes a desire to be part of it? Maybe, you should try encouraging kids to talk about their friend Jesus all the time - most of the kids would get bored out of their pants and never go near a church.

I find it difficult to understand why she can't make a statement like that - I would have thought that rules of free speech would apply, given that it's the kid's right to say something. Isn't denying an area of speech somewhat against the Constitution? If a kid at a public school in NZ made a speech like that, they'd probably be laughed off the stage.
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Old 30th August 2007, 06:18 PM   #34
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Minor, trivial whatever. However what it was was disrespectful to the rules (she could have fought much earlier to have them changed.

At least that would have been an expression of principle), and it was disrespectful to all the listeners (who thought little of this 2000 year old execution) who had come for a day of pride for themselves and their children, not to listen to yet another fundie wanting to impose their superstition on the planet.

Clueless disrespect is what it amounted to.

Taking away her diploma probably serves nothing, but it should have had, "You have no respect" stamped across the front.
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Old 30th August 2007, 06:35 PM   #35
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She's a creep and a scumbag. She lacks discipline, respect, and basic decency.
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Old 30th August 2007, 08:01 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by triadboy View Post
She threatened the entire audience!
with inferred eternal damnation.

(kiss jesus' ass or he'll torture you forever--he died for you, you wretched scumbags.)
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Old 30th August 2007, 08:27 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by JoeEllison View Post
She's a creep and a scumbag. She lacks discipline, respect, and basic decency.
Is it just me, or am I the only one who thinks pleas for "discipline, respect, and basic decency" are dimished when preceeded by "creep" and "scumbag"?
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Old 30th August 2007, 08:30 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Her arguement is I knowingly broke the rules, and because of free speach I should be able to say what ever I want. Her entire arguement is wrong.
Part of enforcing the rules is balancing cost and benefit. Not every speeder on the highway gets a ticket.
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Old 30th August 2007, 08:44 PM   #39
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If the school hadn't taken action against her then it would have been very hard for them to ever take action against such things in the future.

Mention of god is okay, but as soon as she started to evangelise she was breaking the rules, and she knew it. Her case shouldn't have a hope of winning.
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Old 30th August 2007, 08:44 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
First off, I am the most athiest atheist of all...

What the hell was the school hoping to achieve by taking away her diploma? Even if I agree that she shouldn't say things like that at a graduation, I'm not sure how holding her diploma makes the situation any better. Feelings were hurt, milk was spilt. Wah. Now suck it up and move on with life.
My guess: they wanted to punish her but, what do you know, she has technically already left. So the only repercussion left to give was to keep her diploma.

If I were principal, I'd change the policy on not giving detention to students who had already left the school instead.

What self-righteous chutzpah. I'd immediatly peg her for one of those bratty Paris Hilton types who makes everyone's life miserable in high school but she personally seems pleasant enough in this clip: http://cbs4denver.com/seenon/local_story_240165930.html
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