The valedictorian of a Michigan high school had her speech censored by her principal for openly talking about her Christian faith, and was told it was “not appropriate” to discuss at the school event.
Elizabeth Turner, the Valedictorian of Hillsdale High School had her speech censored in portions of the text where she mentions her Christianity and talks about Jesus, being told by her principal, Amy Goldsmith, that it was “not appropriate” because she would be “representing the school,” Fox News reported.
“For me, my future hope is found in my relationship with Christ. By trusting in him and choosing to live a life dedicated to bringing his kingdom glory, I can be confident that I am living a life with purpose and meaning,” a draft of Turner’s speech read.
“My identity is found by what God says and who I want to become is laid out in scripture. Whether we want to admit it or not, not one of us can be certain of how our lives will unfold, but we do know that trials will come,” Turner’s speech continued. “The reality of this is that we face an unpredictable future, and while we are making all these plans to prepare, ultimately none of us are promised tomorrow, making it all the more important to make today count.”
BREAKING: Today, we sent a letter to the principal at Hillsdale High School demanding that she allow a graduating senior, Elizabeth Turner, reference her faith in her valedictorian speech. LEARN MORE » https://t.co/cH5X9MccbE pic.twitter.com/877ogwJk61
— First Liberty Institute (@1stLiberty) May 27, 2021
First Liberty, the law firm representing Turner, sent Goldsmith a letter on Wednesday requesting that Turner be allowed to “express her private religious beliefs,” explaining that editing the speech of students violates “students’ rights under the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses.”
“This is better and you fixed the language, but you are representing the school in the speech, not using the podium as your public forum,” an alleged screenshot of Goldsmith’s comments left on Turner’s speech via GoogleDocs said. “We need to be mindful about the inclusion of religious aspects. These are your strong beliefs, but they are not appropriate for a speech in a school public setting.” (RELATED: ‘Unwillingness To Uphold Its Teachings’: Third Largest Christian Denomination In US Set To Break Over Homosexuality)
The Daily Caller reached out to Goldsmith for a comment and did not receive a response.