Boy’s Graduation Speech Pulled Over Christian Content

In this screengrab from video, Seth Clark delivers his graduation speech in Akin, Ill.

By Todd Starnes Published on May 25, 2017

The small town of Akin, Ill., is the heartbeat of the heartland. It’s a place where the crops are bountiful and so are the patriots. They don’t even have a post office in Akin — but they do have a church. And around this part of the country, church is what folks do.

So you can understand the concern among townsfolk when the salutatorian at Akin Grade School was told he could not deliver his graduation speech because it was too religious.

Seth Clark, 13, was mighty proud of that speech. He referenced God and quoted from the Bible and even mentioned his Christian faith. But just hours before graduation, Seth was told that he would not be permitted to deliver his remarks.

“As a public school, it is our duty to educate students, regardless of how different they or their beliefs may be,” Supt. Kelly Clark wrote in a prepared statement to the Benton Evening News.

“While students are welcome to pray or pursue their faith without disrupting school or infringing upon the rights of others, the United States Constitution prohibits the school district from incorporating such activities as part of school-sponsored events, and when the context causes a captive audience to listen or compels other students to participate,” her statement read.

But that’s not where our story ends.

Word began to spread around Akin that Seth’s faith-based speech was not permitted on school property. And folks decided something needed to be done to right this wrong. Seth needed to be able to deliver the speech that God had placed on his heart to deliver. It just so happened that a neighbor of the Clark’s owned a house across from the school — and he invited Seth to deliver the speech on his property.

“When it came time for the valedictorian and the salutatorian to deliver their speeches, they invited the audience to join them across the street at the house,” Becky Clark told me. “It was not mandatory.”

And sure enough — that’s exactly what happened. Dozens of folks piled onto the front yard of the home — and listened intently as young Seth delivered his address. I’ve posted video of the speech below.

“It was the proudest moment of my life,” Mrs. Clark said. “He is more courageous at the age of 13 than I am at the age of 43.”

She said her son is a tender-hearted person who just wants to be a man of God.

“This is not an attention thing for him,” she said. “He wanted to share what was on his heart about God.”

Seth Clark is an American patriot — a courageous young man who took a bold stand for his faith. It is a right that he is afforded under the United States Constitution and it is a right that was denied to him as a result of faulty legal advice.

WATCH:

 
 

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again. Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

Originally published on ToddStarnes.com. Reprinted with permission.

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  • Autrey Windle

    Amazing! What our country has come to that this articulate child could not be heard at a public school is beyond disgraceful. I don’t understand why no one speaks LOUDLY that in the beginning of our country the Holy Bible was the one consistent textbook in all schools. I can hardly wait to hear this young man of God when he next speaks to us publicly because I am making an educated guess that this is just the beginning of what he has to speak to encourage us. Seth Clark, I thank God for you and for the neighbor who opened his home to your voice.AMEN!

    • Wayne Cook

      Austrey, ACLJ does! Judicial Watch does! Liberty Institute does!

      There are socialists every where who think they are ABOVE the law and can intimidate kids!

  • Wayne Cook

    Looks like our kids need a lawyer present when submitting speeches! Our country has descended into socialism already!

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