While Muslim students are being given taxpayer-funded prayer rooms and halal meals, a star Christian pupil was told it was “unlawful” and “unconstitutional” to mention the name of Jesus Christ in her closing graduation speech. Unfortunately for the school, the bright young student had another plan up her sleeve.
All across America, Muslim students’ incessant demands are being appeased by the school system like tantrum-throwing toddlers wearing down their exhausted parents. However, public schools are discovering that satisfying their stipulations doesn’t quell the endless list of Sharia requirements as calls for in-class prayer breaks, campus prayer rooms, halal lunches, dress code exemption, Islamic curriculum, and eventual prohibition of criticism continue. While the education system desperately tries to fulfill their religious compulsions, the Chrisitan majority is reminded that they must keep their faith at home. This time, they finger-wagged the wrong Crusader.
When Beaver High School senior class president Moriah Bridges was selected to give the closing statement at her school’s graduation ceremony on June 2, she excitedly penned eloquent remarks that honored her school, education, and beliefs. There was just one problem —Moriah mentioned her “Lord” Jesus Christ and “Heavenly Father” in a line, thanking the Creator for her personal success.
The Blaze reports that Moriah received a letter from principal Steven Wellendorf warning her that the school may take legal measures if she makes any reference to her Christian beliefs, an order that came down from Superintendent Dr. Carrie Rowe. In fact, Wellendorf falsely alleged that mentioning “Jesus Christ” or praying is prohibited by federal law even in a student-led prayer.
“The selected students may still address their class and indicate the things that they wish/hope for their class, but they may not do it in the style of a prayer and most certainly may not recite a prayer that excludes other religions (by ending ‘in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ’ or ‘in the matchless name of Jesus,’” principal Steven Wellendorf wrote to Moriah in a letter.
Fortunately, Moriah didn’t submit to such a flagrant misrepresentation of the law. Not only did she defiantly invoke “the righteous name of Jesus Christ” at the end of her speech, she immediately contacted the First Liberty law institute about the Pennsylvania School District for discrimination and infringement of her rights, according to Fox News.
“The last lesson this school district taught its students is that they should hide their religious beliefs from public view,” First Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys told me. “That fails the test of the First Amendment.”
The district is in hot water as Dys explained that Moriah was acting within her constitutional rights while the school district undeniably broke the law.
“In short, school officials – in violation of the First Amendment – forced Moriah to censor her personal remarks during the closing exercise of her commencement ceremony merely because of the religious viewpoint of her remarks,” the attorney said. “Because of Dr. Rowe’s instructions, Moriah was muzzled and restrained by school officials on the penultimate day of her high school career.”
Understanding the seriousness of her actions, Dr. Rowe quickly responded to Moriah’s alliance with the law firm, blaming her decision on supposed legal advice she received from the district’s solicitor.
“Although I can understand why this restriction might upset members of the community,” she said, “I cannot choose which laws to follow.”
However, Dr. Rowe never mentions which “laws” prohibit a student from mentioning Jesus Christ in their graduation speech. Instead, she appears to want to quickly and quietly resolve the issue out of court as she has requested a meeting with school administrators to instead discuss how to protect the religious rights of students.
Hopefully, Dr. Rowe has learned 2 lessons — know your rights as an educator and know the rights of your students. Moriah wasn’t forcing students to pray neither was she attempting to sway students toward her religious beliefs. She was simply thanking her God for her success, which is in accordance with her faith.
While the tiny minority of Muslim students are being granted special privileges within public schools at the taxpayers’ expense, the Christian majority is having to fight for their simple right to mention the name of Jesus. This is a call for Christians to stand up not only for their religious rights but against the Islamization of the education system.