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Valedictorian sues over Gospel speech

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posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 06:47 PM
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This is plain and clear: The student violated the rules: She used subterfuge to add a message that was not approved. She agreed to speak only the words in the prepared statements, to merely recite them, and when she went beyond the script and started preaching, she broke the agreement she made beforehand. That alone makes her wrong. It is not the content of her speech that is in question here legally, it is the fact that she agreed to one course of action and broke that agreement.

She KNEW that if she included her religious appeal in the written version approved by the school they would never have allowed it; so she disregarded the rules and her word and added it on. She got her message across and no one could stop the violation at that point, se she got what she wanted, her 15 seconds of preaching time, and surely she is dedicated enough to accept the punishment due anyone that breaks their word and agreements, right?

No good Christian would endorse breaking an agreement and using unapprived words after it was clear what the proper conduct was. No, she knew fully she was wrong, and should not have deviated from the script. Either that or refuse in protest to participate because she was not allowed to preach from the school podium. That would be honest at least and courageous, but no..she gets a lawyer and sues because she wants us to equate breach of contract with freedom of speech, and we will not.

She should save her preaching for church, public streets where legal, and anyplace where welcome. But in a closed environment like a school, captive students should NEVER be forced to sit and have to listen to someone telling them they need a better way of life and that their religion is the better one. Preaching is preaching. And I am a Christian. I believe. But school is NOT the place to try and convert people. Show them by your actions, not words, and you may get more results than you ever imagined.

She is lucky her punishment was merely an apology; for violating her agreement, she deserved perhaps to be held back or seriously dealt with. That would be the only way to suppress future incidents of students bursting out with their own messages in violation of the rules. They said they would do one thing, and if they do another they are guilty and deserve to be punished. I hope this suit gets thrown out.




posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by eyewitness86
This is plain and clear: The student violated the rules: She used subterfuge to add a message that was not approved. She agreed to speak only the words in the prepared statements, to merely recite them...



Well, I guess you're going to have to prove these accusations now, because no where have I read she was bound to stay with a prescribed speech or that she had to get approval first. So get up on it and show us where you got this information.



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Right, okay, you think it's rude. Apparently you're offended by it. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be covered by the right to free speech. And since you most likely don't care if you spend any time with Jesus, her statements actually have no connection to you at all. You don't want to hang out with the Jesus dude? just ignore her. But she has the right to make a profession of faith.


Well, I think it's rude, but I'm not offended. If I was there, I might have been, I doubt it though. I would probably have thought 'what an idiot', or if I was feeling a bit bolshie, use my free speech to shout it instead, after all free-speech above all? Even above some decent social etiquette? OK, maybe that's what we might expect in the UK...

The words would have been aimed at me, no? I doubt they would be aimed at other christians, I would assume they already know the 'good news'. They would have been aimed at people of other faiths and those of no faith, I think idiots knocking on the door at 9am is rude, and I think using a captive audience like this is rude.

I think there is a difference between making a profession of faith, for instance, like the examples I gave earlier, "thank you jesus blah blah", and attempting to guide people direct to the feet of jay-sus in an inappropriate setting.

As for free-speech. I know little about these laws in the US. But I would have thought it was a no-no in a public school. As far as I know, you can have private sessions in the school (e.g. bible clubs), but not in wider school arena. But, whatever the law, I just think it's rude. I would say the same if an atheist or muslim did something similar.

Time and place.

Seems this sort of stuff is old hat, and the school followed normal accepted procedure by not allowing such speeches, but she subverted the normal procedure by rehearsing a different speech, just for jay-sus...


A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 19 upheld a lower court's dismissal of the Amador Valley High senior's suit. The San Francisco-based appeals court said schools are constitutionally barred from endorsing religion.

Citing a string of cases, the court unanimously ruled that "permitting a proselytizing speech at a public school's graduation ceremony would amount to coerced participation in a religious practice."

www.firstamendmentcenter.org...

[edit on 1-9-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 07:38 PM
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I am Christian and I see nothing wrong here. If she wanted to express her
religious belief she should have went to a Catholic school.
I am not saying that the schools actions were correct, they should have pulled
her to the side and spoke to her about it. I do not see why she should have
apologized to the whole school, she was spreading a message of love and peace. If she were to say "I want all of you to convert to Christianity" than that
would be a different story. The school handled this improperly, and she is
handling this situation incorrectly as well.



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 07:55 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin


[edit on 1-9-2007 by melatonin]


Luckily what you think is rude isn't the bar for the First Amendment coverage.

And by the way, I think she'll win her fight. Because I believe that religious speech being treated differently than any other speech is discrimination as well, and that is what she is bringing a suit about.



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall

Luckily what you think is rude isn't the bar for the First Amendment coverage.

And by the way, I think she'll win her fight. Because I believe that religious speech being treated differently than any other speech is discrimination as well, and that is what she is bringing a suit about.


And I suppose what you think is allowed on school property means nada, when there is already a set precedent on this type of issue in your courts - no preaching religion to the kids. They were a captive audience.


Citing a string of cases, the court unanimously ruled that "permitting a proselytizing speech at a public school's graduation ceremony would amount to coerced participation in a religious practice."


So, the school were correct to in some way sanction her. She coerced people to participate in religious practice.

I guess you have a state-church separation for a reason. Whether you think that is appropriate, that's another question.

Thing is, the girl knew she was doing wrong, she rehearsed a different speech in front of the principal, she hid what she was going to do, she planned what she was going to do. She essentially deceived someone.

But I guess that's OK when it's in an effort to send people straight to jay-sus...

[edit on 1-9-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin


she rehearsed a different speech in front of the principal, she hid what she was going to do, she planned what she was going to do. She essentially deceived someone.



Oops, now we've got another person that needs to prove their accusation. Could you please supply the source of this information? I've not read that she rehearsed anything in front of anyone, nor have I read that she hid what she was going to do or that she planned to do this for some extended period prior to the speech.

Please, do share. And by the way - Jesus loves you.



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Oops, now we've got another person that needs to prove their accusation. Could you please supply the source of this information? I've not read that she rehearsed anything in front of anyone, nor have I read that she hid what she was going to do or that she planned to do this for some extended period prior to the speech.

Please, do share.



Erica Corder was one of 15 valedictorians at Lewis-Palmer High School in 2006. All were invited to speak for 30 seconds at the graduation ceremony. When it was Corder’s turn, she encouraged the audience to get to know Jesus Christ.

Corder had not included those remarks during rehearsals.

www.firstamendmentcenter.org...

If you watch, you can see that she is reading from a card, it was pre-planned. She admits she kept it secret, she knew it would not be approved.



In other words. She intentionally deceived someone. I assume bearing false witness is bad, mmmkay?


And by the way - Jesus loves you.


And the Flying Spagetti Monster loves you. May you be touched by his noodly appendage.

RAmen

ABE: and apparently her dad is a member of the right-wing Xian 'focus on the family' group. I wouldn't be surprised that this was pre-planned by more than herself.

[edit on 1-9-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 09:12 PM
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Seems this isn't a one-off...


The valedictorian's speech was about Jesus Christ and suggested those who don't believe would go to hell.

"I want to tell you that Jesus Christ can give you eternal life in heaven," Spaulding said before the crowd. "If we die with that sin on our souls, we will immediately be pulled down to hell to pay the eternal price for our sins ourselves."

For 17 minutes, Spaulding's speech went on, making religious references to Bible scriptures that were often followed with applause.

"Like the Geico Insurance slogan -- so easy a caveman can do it. Letting Jesus take care of our sin problem is so easy a child can do it," said Spaulding.

However, there were some in the audience who said they were uncomfortable during the speech and felt the comments were inappropriate.

www.news4jax.com...

I'm starting to feel that decorum and christianity may well be mutually exclusive in the US for some.

The same people defending the rights of students spewing nonsense about people going to hell (i.e. right wing Xians), foam at the mouth over a hindu prayer, heh.

Wacky.

[edit on 1-9-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 09:42 PM
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in my OPINION



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin


The same people defending the rights of students spewing nonsense about people going to hell (i.e. right wing Xians), foam at the mouth over a hindu prayer, heh.

Wacky.

[edit on 1-9-2007 by melatonin]


Excuse me, could you please provide a source to where she said something about some one going to hell? I didn't see that anywhere. My, there's a lot of unfounded crap being spewed on this thread.

P.S. I can't help but notice that not a single person pulling these accusatory statements out of their backsides have been willing to produce the source of evidence for which they are accusing. Hmmm...the flying spaghetti monster must promote fallacies.

[edit on 9-1-2007 by Valhall]



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 11:13 PM
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I think the case law on this is crystal clear. She had every right to express her religious beliefs during her speech. The average person would not misconstrue her speech as an official government endorsement of religion.

She will win in court, even if she has to take it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 07:45 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Excuse me, could you please provide a source to where she said something about some one going to hell? I didn't see that anywhere. My, there's a lot of unfounded crap being spewed on this thread.


Val, it wasn't the original valedictorian event. I found another. I was trying to illustrate that this isn't an isolated case.

This event had the student telling the audience how if they don't accept the blood sacrifice, they are going to hell.


P.S. I can't help but notice that not a single person pulling these accusatory statements out of their backsides have been willing to produce the source of evidence for which they are accusing. Hmmm...the flying spaghetti monster must promote fallacies.


I also supported what I said earlier. She did rehearse a different speech, she did pre-plan, she did know it was wrong, she knew it would not be approved. She was deceiving.

I see you've ignored this.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 07:49 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
I think the case law on this is crystal clear. She had every right to express her religious beliefs during her speech. The average person would not misconstrue her speech as an official government endorsement of religion.


I guess that was the only thing the school people were worried about. As I assume it pertains directly to government institutions and not personal opinion.

I suppose the schools should get the kids to state a disclaimer before they use the public podium to preach, heh.



[edit on 2-9-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin


This event had the student telling the audience how if they don't accept the blood sacrifice, they are going to hell.



mel,

You did it again. No, it didn't. She stated that she hoped people would learn more about Jesus so they could spend eternity with him. She said nothing of hell.

As I stated before, she expressed her faith-based wish and anyone who is like yourself with an extreme aversion to JAY-sus could simply reject her wish for them considering the likes of you don't give a rat's-arse if you spend any time with the Jesus dude in the first place. Simply put - it's a take it or leave it.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by Valhallmel,

You did it again. No, it didn't. She stated that she hoped people would learn more about Jesus so they could spend eternity with him. She said nothing of hell.


mel is pointing out a DIFFERENT example. now, you also ignored that mel completely proved the accusation that the girl had rehearsed a different speech and knew that her original idea wouldn't be approved.



As I stated before, she expressed her faith-based wish and anyone who is like yourself with an extreme aversion to JAY-sus could simply reject her wish for them considering the likes of you don't give a rat's-arse if you spend any time with the Jesus dude in the first place. Simply put - it's a take it or leave it.


but it's also preaching to a captive audience in an institution where religion has no place...
she can express her personal beliefs, she just can't express that she wishes us to have them too.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
You did it again. No, it didn't. She stated that she hoped people would learn more about Jesus so they could spend eternity with him. She said nothing of hell.


OK, I might just slowly back away from this thread soon...

Note that I said it was a different event. In this event the student said:


I want to tell you that Jesus Christ can give you eternal life in heaven," Spaulding said before the crowd. "If we die with that sin on our souls, we will immediately be pulled down to hell to pay the eternal price for our sins ourselves."

www.news4jax.com...



As I stated before, she expressed her faith-based wish and anyone who is like yourself with an extreme aversion to JAY-sus could simply reject her wish for them considering the likes of you don't give a rat's-arse if you spend any time with the Jesus dude in the first place. Simply put - it's a take it or leave it.


As I said from the very first post, someone mentioning jay-sus doesn't bother me. I think if someone wants to thank their favoured omnipotent sky-daddy for allowing them the ability to do their homework and pass a few tests then that's cool by me. Why would I have an extreme aversion to the name 'jesus'? I have about the same aversion to the name 'mohammed', 'buddha', and 'shiva' - that is none.

What I did say that going beyond that to preaching to a captive public audience with the aim to convert is a bit rude. If I want to expose myself to that I'll turn on the bible channel, sit myself on a pew, discuss in the ATS religious subfora.

That is about as far as I care. I compare what she did to the 'witnessing' idiots who knock on my door at 9am on a saturday morning. The fact that some Xians are rude and socially retarded, using every opportunity to spread their viral meme, is not a surprise to me.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul


mel is pointing out a DIFFERENT example. now, you also ignored that mel completely proved the accusation that the girl had rehearsed a different speech and knew that her original idea wouldn't be approved.



I have read no where that the rehearsal was a "pre-approval process". I have read no where at what point she was moved by God to include the statement. I have no evidence that shows me she had already been led to make the statement prior to the rehearsal. So I don't agree that mel has supported his assumptions. And that is what I believe they are - assumptions of intent.

P.S. - Just want to make one thing clear in my position here. IF she had, in fact, already decided to make the statement prior to the rehearsal and intentionally left it out to avoid conflict prior to the act, I don't agree with what she did. Just want to be clear on that. If you're going to make the decision to profess your faith you should do so without trying to avoid the consequences and if she manipulated the situation to avoid the conflict to fight for her right to profess her faith - she took a coward's (and liar's) way out. I'm just trying to point out you guys can't assume her intent when you have no evidence.

[edit on 9-2-2007 by Valhall]



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 09:32 AM
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Corder said she planned the remarks for months but did not tell school officials or the other 14 speakers, who had cooperated on drawing up a speech and who each took a part in presenting it. Corder went last.

Corder did not include her comments about Jesus when they rehearsed in front of Principal Mark Brewer.

cbs4denver.com...

So, the 15 students worked together to co-write a speech. They rehearsed it in front of the Principal. She knew exactly what she was doing, she planned it well before hand. She knew if she put it in during rehearsal, it would not be allowed. So she kept it secret. She deceived.


So Erica Corder thanked all the teachers, parents and peers in the crowd for their encouragement throughout the years.

Then, deviating from the 30-second speech that had been approved by the principal, she began speaking about "someone who loves you more than you could ever imagine."

www.heraldnet.com...

The actions of the school officials supports this. They wanted her to state that they would not have approved the speech. They were attempting to distance themselves from her words. Which I think is OK, no? I think your constitution has something to say about such things.

From previous court cases it is already determined that the schools can't approve speeches at graduations that are deemed proseltysing. If the Prinicipal felt he was seen as approving this girl's speech, he would have seen this as an issue. People complained, the school wanted to cover their asses because a student decided to subvert the process to preach with the aim to convert to a captive audience. They compelled her to make a statement stating this was not approved by the school.

You'd think that she'd been sent to the lions...

ABE: and I don't know the veracity of this, but this is supposedly a statement by one of the mother's of a student at that event:


This conversation is amusing to me because my child was one of the other valedictorians that Erica Corder shared the podium with. To say that Erica Corder is a devious coward is an understatement. Our family's quarrel (and that of MANY of the other valedictorians) is not with her religious views, but with the deceptive nature of how she treated those who wrote the speech AS A GROUP, practiced it AS A GROUP for the principal, and practiced it on graduation day AS A GROUP - only to have it hijacked my Ms. Corder. And she wasn't selected to be the last person to speak - my daughter's boyfriend was. Ms. Corder INSISTED that she be the last speaker. Obviously, there are many more details. But in a nutshell, it wasn't Ms. Corder's speech to modify in the first place. Feel free to ask questions if you wish.

Posted by Mom on August 31, 2007 12:00 PM

linky

So, I guess the only thing left to say is:

Who would jesus sue?

[edit on 2-9-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by eyewitness86
. But in a closed environment like a school, captive students should NEVER be forced to sit and have to listen to someone telling them they need a better way of life and that their religion is the better one.


Although I agree for the most part with your post, what about when Senator Venerables came to my school and preached rap is evil and politics is good? Those were his beliefs/faith/religion and we were captive for over an hour.

I can see where melatonin is coming from and can empathize with that point of view. Although I wouldn't mind who said what at the podium, I'd like the rules to be clear and fair for those who do. I'd vote melatonin on the committee to help what does and does not meet proper approval so long as it was across the board regardless of belief system. My request would be it to comply more with freedom of speech than making people feel warm and fuzzy.

I do believe however, the school committed wrong for wrong and the punishment did not fit the crime. She worked years for that degree and to have it withheld because she said something does not appear correct.

[edit on 2-9-2007 by saint4God]



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