Greenwood High School in Indiana is the place where school officials wanted to inject prayer into the graduation, let students vote on the matter (as if breaking the law is something you can vote on), were told by a judge that was illegal, and finally decided to simply “not screen” the graduation speeches.
Last night was the graduation.
How did it go?
Eric Workman, the valedictorian, showed exactly why he’s at the top of his class:
… Workman, who hadn’t spoken previously about his opposition to student-led prayer, told the audience he was taking a stand for the U.S. Constitution.
“No entity of government can endorse or promote religion or religious doctrine,” he said in a calm, professorial tone. “That includes school-sponsored prayer.”
Workman said he viewed the vote as a decision on whether “the Constitution should be violated,” and that the rights of the minority against prayer should be protected.
“My individual freedoms were subjugated,” the self-described scientist said in his speech.
After his speech, people clapped and cheered, though not as loudly as for other speakers. About two dozen gave him a standing ovation.
And the class president, Courtenay Elizabeth Cox, showed how she could easily win a popularity contest in that backwards community.
“I would like to give thanks to God,” she said, as the audience and graduates broke into cheers and applause. “None of us would even be alive, and I personally wouldn’t be standing here, without him.
“The staff here and my family helped me through a lot of hardships, but I would not have overcome any of those without my faith.”
Cox also read a verse from the Bible, adding, “Remember, people come and go, but God is always there for you… I believe he deserves to be thanked for that.”
She pandered to the crowd to get applause and mindlessly assumed that everyone in the audience would not be alive without her Christian god. In other words, screw you, anyone who isn’t Christian.
To be fair, what she said was legal.
In the end, Workman came out the victor:
Superintendent David Edds said the school will not hold student votes on the issue or try to hold graduation prayers in future years.
(Edits have been made to this piece since it was originally posted.)