She knew her speech as valedictorian of Foothill High School would be cut short, but Brittany McComb was determined to tell her fellow graduates what was on her mind and in her heart.
But before she could get to the word in her speech that meant the most to her -- Christ -- her microphone went dead.
The decision to cut short McComb's commencement speech Thursday at The Orleans drew jeers from the nearly 400 graduates and their families that went on for several minutes.
However, Clark County School District officials and an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union said Friday that cutting McComb's mic was the right call. Graduation ceremonies are school-sponsored events, a stance supported by federal court rulings, and as such may include religious references but not proselytizing, they said.
They said McComb's speech amounted to proselytizing and that her commentary could have been perceived as school-sponsored.
Before she delivered her commencement speech, McComb met with Foothill administrators, who edited her remarks. It's standard district practice to have graduation speeches vetted before they are read publicly.
School officials removed from McComb's speech some biblical references and the only reference to Christ.
But even though administrators warned McComb that her speech would get cut short if she deviated from the language approved by the school, she said it all boiled down to her fundamental right to free speech.
That's why, for what she said was the first time in her life, the valedictorian who graduated with a 4.7 GPA rebelled against authority.