A North Texas high school silenced its valedictorian during his graduation address because he “deviated from the prior reviewed material” and talked about the Constitution.
The controversy comes just days after a South Carolina valedictorian made national news by ripping up his pre-approved speech onstage and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
Officials at Joshua High School decided to take a more proactive approach when Remington Reimer began to talk about his First Amendment rights.
“He just said, he was talking about getting constitutional rights taken away from him,” Colin Radford, a Joshua graduate, told Fox 4.”And then he said, ‘Just yesterday they threatened to turn my microphone off,’ and then his microphone went off.”
The Joshua Independent School District issued a statement that Mr. Reimer’s microphone was cut “regardless of content.”
“Student speakers were told that if their speeches deviated from the prior-reviewed material, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content. When one student’s speech deviated from the prior-reviewed speech, the microphone was turned off, pursuant to District policy and procedure.”
The ceremony reportedly opened and closed with a Christian prayer, leading another graduate to believe the valedictorian’s religion nothing to do with the school’s decision, Fox News reports.
Mr. Reimer has been accepted at the U.S. Naval Academy.