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!
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — 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.)