God not allowed
Valedictorian pulls speech rather than remove prayer
By Al Sullivan
Reporter senior staff writer
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The Bayonne High School graduation ceremonies on July 20 were marred by a controversy over the inclusion of a prayer in this year’s Valedictory Address.
Traditionally, the top student of the graduating class speaks during the ceremonies, often expressing feelings about the past and hopes for the future.
But a few days before the June 20 ceremonies, Jeremy Jerschina – this year’s valedictorian – was asked to submit his speech for review.
The speech ended with a prayer to God, which was deemed unacceptable by school officials.
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See the problem is the gooferment operating the skoolz. Only the gooferment can be praised!
Since the site is copyrighted, I’ve only took a fair use quote.
The Valedictorian probably would mind sharing his speech that he couldn’t give.
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Text of Jeremy Jerschina’s Valedictory Address
Welcome faculty, parents, friends, students, graduates, Core Four, and other honored guests.
You all know tonight is a special night. You all know that it took us four years of hard work to finally get up on this stage to accept our diplomas. And you all know we are excited to graduate and spend some time with our friends and families. And so, tonight, to keep this relatively brief, I would just like to speak about one of the most striking and unique elements of our high school experience – the great significance of one’s background – namely their ethnicity.
At the beginning of the past century reigned the harkening towards cultural assimilation – America was, as Israel Zangwill called it, “God’s Crucible, the great melting pot.” In that century, America itself was melted and reformed by countless conflicts and movements, as well as a somewhat-unwilling emergence from beneath a protective shroud of isolationism. In fact, these changes were so dramatic, that in the latter portion of the bygone 20th century, former President Jimmy Carter declared of America, “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic.”
The magnificent shift in perspective is one that we cannot help but realize, especially in this highly diversified metropolitan area, in which we daily live the mosaic. Indeed, each one of us is an infinitesimal element of this brilliant intricacy.
Thus our individual ethnicity impacts us and those around us. Every facet of our fragment of the whole was sculpted, directly or indirectly, by our race, culture and family, and accordingly, so was our contribution to the totality of the magnificent work which is our world.
This connectivity through diversity is something that we ought to appreciate, something we ought to value.
We should, first of all, realize this on a personal level. We should acknowledge, as individuals, what particular traits were most shaped by our ethnicities. Whether it be a strong work ethic or outspokenness, determination or an inclination [to] objectivity, a strong moral foundation or creativity, we should be grateful and aware of the positive influence our cultures had, and continue to have, on us.
Moreover, we should realize and appreciate this whole mosaic formation concept on an interpersonal and universal level. The strength that emanates from multiplicity is one of the greatest elements of the vigor of America, and, ultimately, of the vitality of humanity.
Honor this diversity, but do not be strangled by political correctness, which tends to insult diversity more than it intends to support it; appreciate your own background, understand its history, learn from it, and thus let the roots of your life penetrate deep into the wellsprings of human understanding.
I’d like to end in prayer:
I am to You forever grateful for Your Creation. You placed Your eternal Hand upon the Earth and created Man. You have created him of every tongue and race, and gave him the capacity to grasp at least some of the vast multiplicity which You precisely engineered.
Thank You, Lord, for bringing us together tonight to celebrate both our achievements and those individuals who have helped lead us to this level of accomplishment.
Also, lest we forget about You in the midst of our individual successes, I ask You impart in us an understanding and remembrance of Your omnipresent power and might.
Lord, I pray that You guide, protect and bless us.
I give You all praise and honor for Your Creation, for Your love, for Your mercy, and for the life that You proffer to us daily. In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
Yup. In the article the family asks “Is this censorship?”. Of course it is.
So much for the First Amendment.
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