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High School Student’s Fight for Religious Freedom Secures Victory for Future Students

School district apologizes, says it will no longer censor religious references in student-prepared graduation remarks

November 30, 2017

BEAVER, PA, November 30, 2017—Almost six months after First Liberty Institute sent a letter to the Beaver Area School District (BASD) regarding the district’s religious censorship of high school senior Moriah Bridge’s graduation remarks, BASD has changed course. BASD has enacted a new policy explicitly stating the expressions of students and/or other private speakers at future graduation ceremonies “shall not be restricted because of religious, anti-religious, or non-religious content.”

“Students retain their constitutional rights to freedom of expression from the schoolhouse gates, all the way through the graduation ceremony.,” said Jeremy Dys, Deputy General Counsel for First Liberty. “By adopting this new policy, the BASD is taking the important step of protecting future students who wish to reference their religious beliefs in a personal speech to their classmates.”

In addition to the new policy, the superintendent of BASD apologized to Moriah for the lack of clarity under the previous policy. The action by the BASD comes soon after a meeting between Moriah, members of the BASD, and First Liberty Institute attorneys.

Read more about this case at FirstLiberty.org/Bridges.

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at media@firstliberty.org or by calling 972-941-4453.

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To The American Legion:

As a grateful citizen, I support your effort to honor those who have fallen in battle and to keep the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial standing as a visible reminder of valor, sacrifice, endurance, and devotion.

Veterans memorials like the one in Bladensburg, MD are symbols reminding us of the sacrifice of our service members and the cost of war. Tearing down the Bladensburg Memorial would erase the memory of the 49 fallen heroes of Prince George’s County—like they never even existed.

We cannot allow the Bladensburg Memorial to be bulldozed.

Please know that you have my support and backing in your petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.