The Texas school district has finally apologized to high school valedictorian Remington Reimer for threatening to sabotage his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.
To recap, Reimer made national news after his microphone was cut mid-speech during graduation ceremonies because he strayed from his pre-approved speech by mentioning God and the U.S. Constitution. The next day, the principal, in a meeting with Reimer and his dad, threatened to send a letter to the U.S. Naval Academy slandering Remier’s character, Fox News had reported.
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation with the Liberty Institute, had told Fox News, “The principal said he wanted to try to ruin him for what he did – for talking about the Constitution and his faith.”
However, several weeks later, Fran Merek, the superintendent of the Joshua Independent School District, issued an apology to Remington Reimer, according to Fox News.
“On behalf of the school district, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Mr. Todd Reimer and Remington Reimer for any interpretation of a threat by Mr. Cochran in expressing his displeasure at a meeting on Friday morning between Mr. Todd Reimer and Mr. Cochran following Remington Reimer’s valedictory address,” Marek wrote in a statement. “The District has never intended to nor will take punitive action against Remington Reimer for deviating from the prior-reviewed speech. The District endorses Remington Reimer’s appointment to the Naval Academy and wishes him success for all future endeavors in his naval career. District officials will ensure that district policy is followed at future graduation ceremonies.”
Sasser said he was pleased with the apology and believed that the school district made the right decision. “We are thankful for the leadership of Superintendent Marek in favorably resolving this matter,” he said. “We commend her and the district for having the courage to do the right thing.”
Reimer was also very pleased about the outcome. “I always knew the school district would support me in the end,” he said. “God bless you, Superintendent Marek.”
Initially, the school district had defended their right to cut the microphone saying that the student speakers, “were told that if their speeches deviated from the prior-reviewed material, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content.” However, Reimer’s speech was reviewed by at least four people. The school district had also ordered him to remove several paragraphs and told him what he was to say in his speech.
Following is the part of Reimer’s speech that was not approved by the district:
“But before I finish, I want to thank my family who raised me in a loving Christian home.
Thank Dr. Bodiford, through his UIL Social studies team that gave me a true appreciation for history and motivation to learn.
And to Lt. Col. Davidson, for providing me with opportunities that I would of otherwise never had.
But most importantly, I want to thank God for giving up his only Son for us to an excruciating death on a cross so His blood would cover all our shortcomings and provide for us a way to heaven in accepting His grace.
I worked hard to earn the right to address you all tonight as valedictorian and have the constitutional right–like any of you–to freely speak about the factors that contributed to my success.
We are fortunate to live in a country where we can express our beliefs.
Where our mikes won’t be turned off, as I have been threated to be if I veer away from the school-censored speech that I have just finished.
And I urge you to do the same.
Do not let anyone take away your religious or Constitutional rights away from you. This will be the first and last time many of you will hear me speak.
I will you all the best and let’s get this race going!”
We applaud Remington Reimer for standing up for his constitutional rights and encouraging others to do the same.