District censoring student graduation speech unconstitutional?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

high school graduationA Christian attorney suggests that a school district in Wisconsin may be in violation of the United States Constitution with its new policy of censoring student graduation speeches for religious content.

Fox News’ Todd Starnes reported that students in the Appleton Area School District are being subjected to what he described as a draconian policy – even though the school claims the regulation does not restrict individual speech or expression.

First Liberty Special Counsel for Litigation and Communications Jeremy Dys of First Liberty does not believe the district’s claim.

"[They'll receive it back with black marks written though anything that has any reference to religion, whatsoever,” Dys contended. “That's where we get into some significant problems. When school officials undertake to censor the private remarks of their students, they begin to violate the Constitution."

Dys pointed out that throughout the country, school officials are zealously attempting to silence religious expression at graduation ceremonies.

"That's private speech,” the legal expert asserted. “It is protected by the First Amendment, and school officials are required under the law to respect that type of a viewpoint being expressed – even if it takes place at graduation."

In addition, Starnes noted that the new regulations were implemented after a Christian school board member in the Appleton district invoked the name of Jesus during a graduation ceremony last June.

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