Published On: Wed, Jun 18th, 2014

Brooks Hamby defied school, ‘violates Constitution’ by mentioning Christ in graduation speech

A California high school graduate Brooks Hamby recently caused a bit of a stir and ultimately defied the school district’s demands as he thanked Jesus Christ during his graduation speech. As school salutatorian he was honored with giving a speech, but the district attempted four times to revise his speech, noting it was a violation of “prevailing legal standards.”

Brooks Hamby delivering graduation speech, including references to God and Jesus Christ  photo/screenshot YouTube

Brooks Hamby delivering graduation speech, including references to God and Jesus Christ photo/screenshot YouTube

Brooks Hamby, now headed to Stanford, battled the Brawley Union School District in Brawley, California said any reference to religion would be “inappropropriate” and a “violation of the Constitution.”

A third draft was returned to Hamby with all faith references blacked out. The fourth version of the speech is what he delivered at graduation, religious references included.

“In coming before you today, I presented three drafts of my speech, all of them denied on account of my desire to share with you my personal thoughts and inspiration to you-my Christian faith,” he said. “In life, you will be told, ‘No.’ In life you will be told to do things that you have no desire to do. In life, you will be asked to do things that violate your conscience and desire to do what is right.”

“I didn’t want to compromise my faith,” Hamby said. “I wasn’t interested in removing every trace of God or Jesus. I wasn’t interested in conforming to those demands. I did not want to compromise my values. I didn’t want to water down the message.”

Though the school had warned him that the microphone’s sound would be turned off if he mentioned God, Hamby was able to deliver the speech in its entirety.

Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser said that Hamby was legally in the right to mention Christianity. “It is outrageous that a government school official would demand that a salutatorian submit his speech for government review for the purpose of censoring religious speech.”

Hamby concluded his speech with scripture. “So I will leave you with this, with a quote from the biggest best-selling book of all time in history: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.’ Be the salt of the earth, be strong and stand for your convictions and do what is right, ethical, moral and Godly, no matter the cost to you.”

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. California school district says they were ‘obligated’ to censor God, Brooks Hamby’s free speech - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] was bold during his speech, explaining that he had submitted several drafts of his speech, each of which were rejected because […]

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