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Joshua ISD Silences Valedictorian's Speech

JOSHUA (CBS 11) - Joshua ISD valedictorian Remington Reimer's speech was cut short at last night's ceremony inside Joshua High School's Owl Stadium. It started off like any other graduation speech...

"I'm honored to stand before you today as the Valedictorian of 2013!"

Reimer thanked his parents, teachers and classmates. "Most people have never ever heard me speak much less see me smile," said Reimer.

He then talked about his faith and God, "Most important I want to thank God for giving us the only son who went through excruciating death on a cross..."

Then he said it was his constitutional right to talk about such topics. "I was threatened with having the mic turned off," and right then the mic was turned off. Reimer continued with his speech, but not everyone heard it.


"People thought he was done and we clapped," said fellow graduate Santos Gonzalez.

Many graduates stopping by the high school Friday to pick up their diplomas expressed concern that Reimer was quieted because he mentioned God in his speech. Reimer however, wasn't the only speaker to do so.

JISD officials approve all speeches and some students said Reimer went with a copy of one that wasn't approved.

"He sent in a prior speech before that and they threw it away so he wasn't going to let them tell him what to say - what not to say," said graduate Bryce Daniels.

The district is not commenting and wouldn't even give CBS 11 a statement.

The superintendent said the district followed policy, but wouldn't go into details.

The valedictorian's family isn't talking to the media and told CBS 11 that they are working with the district.

Joshua ISD released the following statement:

The District has reviewed the rules and policy regarding graduation speech, and it has been determined that policy was followed at the Joshua High School 2013 Graduation Ceremony. The valedictorian, salutatorian, and class historian speeches were reviewed in advance by the campus staff, prior to the graduation ceremony. Student speakers were told that if their speeches deviated from the prior-reviewed material, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content. When one student's speech deviated from the prior-reviewed speech, the microphone was turned off, pursuant to District policy and procedure.

Fran Marek
Joshua ISD Superintendent

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