This one is easy.
At Joshua (Tex.) High School, a Valedictorian, in this case one Remington Reimer, agreed to deliver school-approved text and nothing else as his graduation speech. Following the unethical example of double-crossing Valedictorian Roy Costner, recently slobbered over by Fox News as if he were a hero (imagine if Costner had torn up his promised speech and began bashing the Tea Party—do you think Megyn Kelly would have been kissing his shoes on the air then?), Reimer decided to grandstand as well, changing his speech from what he had assured the school he would be delivering. But while he broke his promise, the school, to its credit, did not. He had been told that if he pulled a Costner, his microphone would be turned off. As the wags at Fark neatly put it, “If you go off-script during your valedictorian speech and mention that you were threatened with having your microphone cut if you were to indeed go off-script, then your microphone just might get cut off for going off-script.” That’s what happened to Remington.
His intended speech was published in a local paper. He lost his amplification as he was trying to say,
“We are all fortunate to live in a country where we can express our beliefs, where our mics won’t be turned off, as I have been threatened to be if I veer away from the school-censored speech I have just finished. Just as Jesus spoke out against the authority of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who tried to silence him, I will not have my freedom of speech taken away from me. And I urge you all to do the same. Do not let anyone take away your religious or Constitutional rights from you.”
It appears, as Fark could have predicted but apparently he could not, that this noble but ignorant sentiment was cut off mid-way through his first sentence. There’s a lot Remington has failed to learn in four years—it’s a marvel that he’s a Valedictorian at all. For example,
- He doesn’t know that agreements have to be kept, because they are commitments.
- He doesn’t understand that there are consequences of violating agreements.
- He doesn’t know that nobody has a right to use a microphone at a public event.
- He doesn’t comprehend that his school’s promise the turn off his mic wasn’t a threat. It was a stated consequence of a breach.
- He doesn’t realize that nobody was trying to take his Freedom of Speech away from him. He could give his preferred speech anywhere but a locale legitimately controlled by someone who didn’t want him speaking it.
- No one was taking his religious or Constitutional rights away from Reimer either. He just doesn’t know what either are.
A school is only being responsible by telling someone who doesn’t understand the Constitution or the rights it embraces that they have no business lecturing on the topic.
Students through the centuries have benefited from both the honor and the experience of giving Valedictorian addresses, and audiences have often benefited too. Vainglorious, grandstanding and arrogant juveniles like Costner and Reimer will only accomplish one thing: they will eventually force schools to eliminate the tradition, because every Valedictorian will be suspected trying to grab 15 minutes of fame by rigging a personal martyrdom, and the schools won’t be able to trust in their honor, honesty, and respect for the ceremony, as once they could. By their selfish insistence on demanding a speech right that does not exist, these myopic rebels and those who are sure to follow them will only succeed in diminishing speaking opportunities for others.
Nice work, guys.
Facts: The Blaze