Bill Bumpas - OneNewsNow - 3/3/2010 6:00:00 AM
A judge in Montana has
ruled against a high school valedictorian who wasn't allowed to speak at
her graduation ceremony because she wanted to give God credit for her
Rennee Griffith is now in her second year of college.
She graduated from Butte High School in 2008 as one of the
valedictorians, but when she submitted a draft of her speech to school
authorities, her First Amendment rights were violated.
"She was asked, as were the other valedictorians, to speak about what
helped them get through school. Some people wanted to thank the
football coach or the track coach or their uncle or a particular
teacher, and they were permitted to do that," explains Griffith's
attorney, Bill O'Connor. "The only thing they would not permit, by their
own admission, was...her to attribute any achievements to her belief in
The attorney reports that Griffith wanted to mention Christ once and God
once in her speech, something he believes was well within her rights.
"She was not doing what was forbidden by the Supreme Court or the
Constitution, which is proselytizing," he argues. "She wasn't asking
people to join her in her beliefs, and she wasn't praying, she wasn't
asking people to join her in prayer."
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