By Lacey McNeil, First Liberty Institute communications
BEAVER, Pa. – 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.