Valedictorian Loses Appeal to Give Religious Graduation Speech

March 5, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On March 5, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "a California high school valedictorian who was barred from giving a graduation speech in which he planned to ask the audience to 'accept God's love' and live by 'Jesus' example' lost a Supreme Court appeal today... The proposed speech was 'a religious sermon' and allowing it as part of the graduation ceremony 'would amount to government sponsorship of, and coercion to participate in, particular religious practices,' the appeals court said."