Nev. valedictorian can't sue school over religious speech

By The Associated Press
03.25.09

LAS VEGAS — A federal appeals court has ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging Clark County school officials wrongly stopped a Henderson high school student's valedictorian speech in 2006.

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled on March 20 in McComb v. Crehan that Foothill High School officials didn't violate Brittany McComb's free-speech rights by stopping what the court called a "proselytizing" speech.

The three-judge panel in San Francisco reversed a federal judge's 2007 decision.

School officials shut off McComb's microphone when she strayed from an approved text to provide a graphic account of Jesus' crucifixion and credit God for her success in school.

McComb's lawyer, James Knicely, says he'll ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.