By Hilary White
  LAS VEGAS, June 22, 2006 ( – The name of Christ is so offensive to modern secular ears thatÂClark County School District officials, who knew it was coming, cut off the microphone during a valedictorian addressÂbefore they or anyone else could hear it.
  Brittany McComb is a Christian and a top student graduating from Foothill High. SheÂknew that her valedictorian address would probably be cut short, but was determined to go ahead and mention the one name that is for her above every other name.
“I went through four years of school at Foothill and they taught me logic and they taught me freedom of speech,” McComb stated. “God’s the biggest part of my life. Just like other valedictorians thank their parents, I wanted to thank my lord and saviour.”
  The 400 plus graduates and guests gathered at a Las Vegas casino for the ceremony booed and jeered after McComb’s speech was cut short.
  McComb was required to vetÂher speechÂbefore the graduation ceremony with Foothill administrators. This, says the school, is standard practice before speeches are read. The school officials then removed all Biblical references and the single mention of the name of Jesus Christ.
  McComb, who graduated with a 4.7 grade point average, was warned that if she deviated from the approved text, she could be cut off; but she saw it as a matter of freedom of speech.
“People aren’t stupid and they know we have freedom of speech and the district wasn’t advocating my ideas,” McComb said. “Those are my opinions.”
“It’s what I believe.”
  The school district’s legal counsel, Bill Hoffman, said thatÂMcComb’s words counted asÂpreaching. He told media, “We review the speeches and tell them they may not proselytize.”
  McComb said she was not surprised by the censorship. “Even in the Bible it says that the name of Jesus will be hated.”

“But the thing is, it is freedom of speech, so I was upset,” McComb said on the “Jay Sekulow Live!” radio program on June 20. “I was really leery about having to defy authority…. It took me a while, but I answer to a higher authority and it’s my freedom of speech, and I had to come to terms with that.”
  The American Civil Liberties Union, becoming notorious for its secularist zealotry in cases of public expression of religious belief, praised the school’s decision saying, “It’s important for people to understand that a student was given a school-sponsored forum by a school, and therefore, in essence, it was a school-sponsored speech.”
  Not so, says a Constitutional lawyer and freedom of speech activist. Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Florida-based pro-family legal organization Liberty Counsel, said McComb should take the school district to court.
“I think this is one of the most outrageous examples of censorship at graduation that I’ve seen,” Staver said to Agape Press. “For school officials to literally be standing by the switch at the mixing board and cut the microphone on a student, simply because that student mentions God or Jesus, is just unbelievable.”
  A writer in the Conservative Voice, Ben Shapiro, responded, “Let’s assume the school district, by allowing McComb’s speech, would have been promoting her message. Here’s the question: So what?”
“There is no right to be free from public expression of religion,” Ben Shapiro wrote, “but there is a Constitutionally protected right to free exercise of religion … it is none of the school district’s business whether she chooses to invoke God, Jesus or Zeus (though history indicates that the ACLU would fight for her right to invoke Zeus).”
  The Constitution of the US, says Shapiro, prohibits the establishment of a state religion such as the Anglican Church in Britain, but was never intended to suppress the rightÂto freedom of religious expression.

See MSNBC’s interview with Brittany McComb:

  Express your concern to Foothill High:
  Foothill High School
  Main (702) 799-3500
  FAX (702) 799-3524
  800 College Drive
  Henderson , NV . 89015

  Gretchen Crehan
  (702) 799-3500 ext. 4100


Commenting Guidelines
LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.