Monday, March 16, 2009

Valedictorian's free-speech case goes to court.

As reported in, "A student's free-speech rights are being defended in federal court.

Liberty Counsel is pursuing the case at the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. General counsel Steve Crampton is defending Colorado high school valedictorian Erica Corder. Along with 14 others, Corder was permitted to make a 30-second statement at the graduation ceremony. "And because she mentioned Jesus Christ, she was told immediately after the service that she would not be receiving her diploma along with the other students, but had to meet the principal who then required that she sign an apology, with which she did not agree, as a condition for receiving her diploma," Crampton explains. Corder wrote the apology under compulsion, and Liberty Counsel then sued the school on her behalf. Crampton says it is unconstitutional to restrict public speech, especially since it was student-initiated. Evidently, says the attorney, "there's basically no such thing as private speech at a graduation ceremony -- even for a valedictorian who earned the right to address her classmates." Crampton calls it a clear case of viewpoint discrimination."

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