Asking a Pennsylvania student to remove Christian content from her graduation remarks is a violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to the First Liberty Institute.
"The last lesson this school district taught its students is that they should hide their religious beliefs from public view. That fails the test of the First Amendment. School officials should remember that students retain their constitutional rights to freedom of expression from the schoolhouse gates, all the way through the graduation ceremony," said Jeremy Dys, First Liberty Institute's deputy general counsel, in a First Liberty Institute press release.
Moriah Bridges was asked to deliver the closing remarks at her high school graduation in Beaver, Penn. Dr. Carrie Rowe, Beaver Area School District superintendent, informed Bridges that she must take out religious references in her speech, according to a column by Fox News commentator Todd Starnes.
Bridges' words in the speech "constituted her private speech, not government speech," The First Liberty Institute wrote in a letter to school officials.
"I was shocked that the school said my personal remarks broke the law and saddened that I could not draw on my Christian identity to express my best wishes for my classmates on what should've been the happiest day of high school," Bridges said in Starnes' report.
The Institute posted a clip of Bridges' graduation remarks on YouTube.
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