View Poll Results: Should the school have banned the reading of the prayer by the student?

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Thread: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

  1. #801
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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    You are wrong. The valedictorian clearly represents the school, especially when the graduation itself is a school sponsored event. It's really not that complicated an issue to understand. The problem with THIS specific case is that the boy submitted a speech for pre-approval which it was, then changed his speech and did not get approval for those changes.

    The school was NOT given an opportunity to provide a disclaimer in this situation.
    Once again, legally speaking, the valedictorian's speech does NOT represent the school's speech. The school had ample opportunity to provide a disclaimer after the speech was done. It is NOT the valedictorian's responsibility to provide such an opportunity in the first place.

    I've shown you the decision and legal analysis, it disagrees with your position.

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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Obviously you haven't been reading the links, or even your OWN link for that matter. The conclusion clearly states that schools CAN limit a student's speech if they feel such speech would be offensive. The audience being voluntary is besides the point. Also, it WOULD be a captive audience simply for the fact that parents are there to see their children graduate, just as people standing in line at a grocery store would be considered a captive audience.
    Offensive speech is defined and religious speech does not fall under that court definition.

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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    Once again, legally speaking, the valedictorian's speech does NOT represent the school's speech. The school had ample opportunity to provide a disclaimer after the speech was done. It is NOT the valedictorian's responsibility to provide such an opportunity in the first place.
    Here it is again. I think this must be like the 10th time I've posted this. This is from YOUR link.

    The Supreme Court’s decisions have left open several issues regarding religious expression at graduation events that lower courts have addressed in a variety of ways. Principals and school boards will look to lower court opinions in their jurisdictions (if any) that deal with these issues for guidance. Thus, specific restrictions on free speech may vary between jurisdictions. At the most basic level, however, schools may not restrict students’ speech based on the students’ religious viewpoint. Under current law in some jurisdictions, schools may prohibit a valedictorian from using sectarian or proselytizing language during a graduation speech.
    Reciting prayers at a graduation ceremony could easily be construed as proselytizing to a captive audience.

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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Just an FYI. As you can see sectarian speech can cover a LOT of ground.

    sectarian  [sek-tair-ee-uhn] Show IPA
    Part of Speech: adjective
    Definition: narrow-minded, exclusive
    Synonyms: bigoted, clannish, cliquish, dissident, doctrinaire, dogmatic, factional, fanatic, fanatical, hidebound, insular, limited, local, nonconforming, nonconformist, parochial, partisan, provincial, rigid, schismatic, skeptical, small-town, splinter
    Notes: sectarian means of or relating to or characteristic of a sect or sects, while secular means not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body or not religious or spiritual in nature
    Antonyms: broad, broad-minded, liberal, nonsectarian

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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Oh and just to set the record straight, I do believe in God too. I just don't believe that religion and school should be intermingled, or at least not in public school. There are already schools that do that. If that's what you want, then send your child to one of those schools.

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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Here it is again. I think this must be like the 10th time I've posted this. This is from YOUR link.



    Reciting prayers at a graduation ceremony could easily be construed as proselytizing to a captive audience.
    And for the final time - this is not a captive audience, it doesn't meet the court's definition. This is an entirely VOLUNTARY event. It is not a classroom where students must be (THAT is a captive audience in this context).

    The key question regarding speeches provided by valedictorians and salutatorians at graduations is whether such expression would be viewed as bearing the approval of the school and, if so, whether regulations of such expression are required to be viewpoint neutral.1 In the absence of a controlling opinion on these issues in a particular jurisdiction, graduation speeches by valedictorians and salutatorians should be reasonably understood as the student’s own expression rather than speech controlled or sponsored by the school. A reasonable person in attendance at a graduation ceremony understands that valedictorians and salutatorians are selected due to academic criteria and their remarks typically reflect their own views. Valedictorians and salutatorians should be able to share how their faith has impacted their lives without fear of censorship by school officials.
    Btw, a "controlling opinion" would be the local district court.

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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    And for the final time - this is not a captive audience, it doesn't meet the court's definition. This is an entirely VOLUNTARY event. It is not a classroom where students must be (THAT is a captive audience in this context).
    Sharing how faith has impacted your life and reciting prayers specific to a specific religion are two COMPLETELY different things. Don't you see that?

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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Oh and just to set the record straight, I do believe in God too. I just don't believe that religion and school should be intermingled, or at least not in public school. There are already schools that do that. If that's what you want, then send your child to one of those schools.
    That's wonderful, but not the issue here at all. Even in public schools students have a right to speak their religion. The school cannot, school officials cannot and the school and officials may not endorse any student's expression of religious speech.
    Last edited by clownboy; 06-08-13 at 05:21 PM.

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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Sharing how faith has impacted your life and reciting prayers specific to a specific religion are two COMPLETELY different things. Don't you see that?
    Doesn't matter, not a captive audience, it's the student's own view, not endorsed by the school == student's right to free speech.

    The only legal recourse the school has is to:
    1) cut the mic
    2) remind the audience this is not the school's position but the student's
    3) stop being dicks about it

    Anything else opens them up to a legitimate law suit.

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    Re: Valedictorian Defies School District and Recites Lord's Prayer [W:618]

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    That wonderful, but not the issue here at all. Even in public schools students have a right to speak their religion. The school cannot, school officials cannot and the school and officials may not endorse any student's expression of religious speech.
    Sorry you're wrong. There are most certainly limitations in school on how student's can express themselves, be it religiously or otherwise. They are allowed to express themselves with restrictions. Also, children do NOT have the same level of rights that adults do. That's something important for you to remember.

    Personally, the prayer wouldn't have offended me in the least bit. However, it DOES offend some people, and lawsuits DO arise because of these kinds of matters.

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