Valedictorian fights back in face of threats, could sue over censorship

Remington ReimerA Texas high school graduate whose mic was cut off for mentioning God and the U.S. Constitution during his valedictorian speech is now being threatened to have his appointment to the Naval Academy at Annapolis sabotaged.

Remington Reimer, the valedictorian, is now represented in the matter by the Liberty Institute. its director of litigation, Hiram Sasser, said that the Joshua High School principal indicated he may send a letter to the academy disparaging Reomer’s character, acccording to Fox News.

“It was intimidating having my high school principal threaten my future because I wanted to stand up for the Constitution and acknowledge my faith and not simply read a government approved speech, the recent graduate said.

Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes writes:

Sasser is now representing the teenager and is calling for the Joshua Independent School District to issue a public statement exonerating him of any wrongdoing.

He said the speech was edited and reviewed by four different school officials – including an officer in the JROTC. Sasser said the censorship violated federal and state laws.

Reimer made national news last weekend when his microphone was cut off for deviating from his pre-approved valedictorian speech.

The following day the principal met with Reimer’s father and informed him “that he intended to punish Remington for his perceived misdeed.”
“Specifically, he threatened to send a letter to the United States Naval Academy advising them that Remington has poor character or words to that effect,” Sasser told Fox News.

Mick Cochram, the Joshua principal who made the threats is reconsidering after consulting with counsel.

“The principal said he wanted to try to ruin him for what he did – for talking about the Constitution and his faith,” Sasser said. “I don’t know if he’s going to be able to continue to be the principal of that school.”

Reimer’s addition of the following remarks to his valedictorian speech is what started the hubbub:

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,” he said according to the Star. “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.

Although the principal claims he was merely following school policy in cutting off the audio feed during Reimer’s speech, Sasser maintains that decision violated both state and federal law.

“These school officials broke the rules and violated state and federal law and their own board policy,” Sasser said. “They should be held accountable for violating school board policy and causing needless embarrassment for Joshua ISD and the Joshua community.”

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