Joshua school district apologizes to valedictorian, but not for turning off his mic

Posted Thursday, Jun. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Joshua school district Superintendent Fran Marek on Thursday apologized to the high school valedictorian whose microphone was turned off after he veered from his pre-approved remarks during his commencement address.

The apology, however, was not for turning off Remington Reimer’s mic. Instead, it was for comments made by the high school principal, Mike Cochran, to the teen’s father in a recent meeting.

Last week, Reimer’s attorneys at the Liberty Institute in Plano accused the school district of violating state and federal law by editing the speech and complained that Cochran had told the teen’s father that he planned to send a letter to the U.S. Naval Academy questioning the teen’s moral character.

Schools officials muted Reimer’s June 6 graduation speech when he veered from the text that had been reviewed by school district officials and began speaking about liberty and his Christian faith.

Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser and the Reimer family met with Marek and an attorney for the school district on Thursday.

In a news release posted on the school district’s website, Marek apologized to Reimer and his father Todd Reimer “for any interpretation of a threat by Mr. Cochran in expressing his displeasure at a meeting on Friday morning between Mr. Todd Reimer and Mr. Cochran following Remington Reimer’s valedictory address. The District has never intended to nor will take punitive action against Remington Reimer for deviating from the prior-reviewed speech.”

Marek also wrote that the district “endorses” Reimer’s appointment to the military academy.

Sasser said the case was resolved favorably.

“We wanted to get an apology about the Naval Academy situation,” Sasser said. “I think this does that.”

Reimer, who is enroute to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. where he wants to study nuclear engineering and work on a submarine, issued this statement Thursday: “I always knew that the school district would support me in the end. God bless you, Superintendent Marek and members of the Joshua ISD Board of Trustees.”

Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326 Twitter: @jessamybrown

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