After This Christian Valedictorian Began to Talk About Jesus, the School Correctly Shut Off His Microphone

A few days ago, I posted about Roy Costner, a Christian valedictorian who used his time addressing the audience at his graduation to say the Lord’s Prayer:

As far as the law goes, Costner’s actions were probably legal. He turned in a copy of his speech to the administrators. The administrators approved it. And when Costner went up on stage, he ripped up the prepared speech and did his own thing. You can’t blame the school for that.

My concern was that Christians may have found a loophole allowing them to pray at graduation. Sure, it would require them to lie to administrators first, but Christians have never really had a problem with lying for the Lord.

It’s not surprising that another student would take a similar approach and use the time onstage to talk about God, but one school district in Texas has found a brilliant way to respond.

Remington Reimer was the valedictorian at Joshua High School and, just like Roy Costner, he strayed from his prepared, submitted remarks to talk about Jesus.

So the administrators, knowing he was veering from the approved script, turned off his microphone:

Joshua school district administrators say they censored Reimer because he began to stray from his prepared remarks.

“At the time that the speech was deviated from, the microphone was turned off — and they were told that, prior to the graduation ceremony, regardless of content,” Superintendent Fran Marek said.

“The valedictorian, salutatorian and historian speeches were all reviewed prior to the graduation and had prior approval,” Marek said. “The students were told that if they deviated from their speeches, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content.”

This is precisely how the administrators needed to react. They didn’t “censor” Reimer. He was breaking the rules the school had set so they took action.

Just to be clear: The school didn’t cut off his microphone because he was talking about God. They cut off his microphone because he was talking about something different than what he promised to say. They would have done the same thing to any student who went off-script to talk about atheism, abortion, President Obama, or Game of Thrones, too.

So don’t let anyone tell you the district did this because they were “anti-Christian.” They did it because their valedictorian wrongly thought his Christian privilege would allow him to break the district’s policy.

There’s no reason Costner’s district couldn’t have done the same thing.

Good for the district for not letting Reimer finish. They made sure that the graduation ceremony honored all the students for their hard work, not just the Christian ones.

The loophole has been plugged.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.