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Valedictorian Suing School Officials for Censoring Speech

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.”


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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“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

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“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

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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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