By Editorial Staff
Published January 2, 1988
MOSS BLUFF, LA. (EP) – A Louisiana high school graduate is suing her local school officials for censoring her valedictory speech at commencement. Angela Kay Guidry, who was graduated from Sam Houston High School here in May, says her principal’s refusal to let her speak unless she omitted all planned religious references was a violation of her rights to free speech and free exercise of religion.
Guidry is being represented by attorneys of the Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization specializing in religious freedom questions. Her attorneys are seeking a declaratory judgment protecting Guidry and other students from “interference [with] or denial of” constitutional rights.
According to the lawsuit, Guidry submitted her speech to principal Kerry Durr for review May 15. The speech began by thanking “my Lord Jesus who has allowed me to be in this position tonight.” The speech went on to explain Guidry’s personal source of motivation. “To me the most important thing in your life is not whether you have a good education or a good job, but whether or not you have the Lord in your life. It doesn’t matter how many years you go to school or how successful you are in this life, if you’re not doing it all for the Lord,” stated the speech.
She planned to close the speech by explaining her belief that people needed to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior. “My prayer and challenge to you tonight,” she had written, “is that you would seek the Lord Jesus, believe in Him, and give your heart and life to Him.”
Guidry’s lawsuit says that Durr read the speech and said, “You can’t argue with that,” but later that day guidance counselor Sylvia Seals telephoned Guidry and asked her to change the speech. A few days later, Guidry says, Seals “engaged in a tirade of criticism” within earshot of Guidry’s fellow students, and when Guidry attempted to walk away Seals “grabbed her arm and continued making derogatory and slanderous remarks” about her religious beliefs.
Guidry was later told by Durr to delete all references to personal religious views so no one would be “offended” by the speech. Guidry refused, and was told she would not be allowed to speak.
The school authorities contend that Durr’s decision was based on the fear that Guidry’s remarks may have been taken as an endorsement of religious view by school authorities. Rutherford attorneys, however, argue that a “valedictorian address is, by its very nature, a personal bidding of farewell,” and say Guidry was unconstitutionally deprived of “a meaningful opportunity to exercise her right of free speech and freely express her sincerely held beliefs.”
The suit seeks declaratory judgment forbidding similar interference in the future, and compensatory and punitive damages for Seals’ “inflamatory remarks impugning [Guidry’s] moral character.”
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Education
Your comments are welcome!
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)