PPB EDITOR: I WOULD HAVE PRINTED 500 COPIES AND PASSED THEM OUT OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL!
The tiny rural town of Akin in southern Illinois might not have a post office, but it can now count itself among the players on the national stage after an eighth-grade boy was barred from giving a graduation speech over its religious content.
Akin Community Grade School salutatorian Seth Clark submitted his speech for approval, the Benton Evening News said, but a local citizen complained about the content of the address, which included references to God and the Bible. So school officials told the 13-year-old he couldn’t deliver the speech, the paper reported.
“As a public school, it is our duty to educate students, regardless of how different they or their beliefs may be,” a statement from Akin Superintendent and Principal Kelly Clark to the paper reads. “While students are welcome to pray or pursue their faith without disrupting school or infringing upon the rights of others, the United States Constitution prohibits the school district from incorporating such activities as part of school-sponsored events, and when the context causes a captive audience to listen or compels other students to participate.” Continue reading “8th-grader barred from giving graduation speech over Bible verses. So he does the next best thing.”