Joshua ISD Apologizes to Silenced Valedictorian Remington Reimer. Sort of.
It was clear from the moment Joshua ISD officials cut the mic on Remington Reimer's Jesus-referencing valedictory speech that his case would be trotted out as an example of a Christian being persecuted for expressing his religious beliefs. Doubly so once Plano's Liberty Institute got involved. It wasn't so clear-cut, of course, but such debates tend to drown out or ignore any nuance.
Nevertheless, a week after Reimer took to the local airwaves to criticize the school district for illegally silencing free speech, he and the district seem to have patched things up.
Superintendent Fran Marek released a statement on Thursday apologizing to Reimer:
On behalf of the school district, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Mr. Todd Reimer and Remington 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. The District endorses Remington Reimer's appointment to the Naval Academy and wishes him success for all future endeavors in his naval career. District officials will ensure that district policy is followed at future graduation ceremonies.
Notice how Marek carefully avoids saying sorry for actually silencing the speech. She seems keen not to backtrack on her previous claims that the decision was legal and complied with district policy on student expression. Rather, she is apologizing for the actions of Joshua High School Principal Mick Cochran, who reportedly threatened to contact the Naval Academy to inform them of his poor character.
But that's good enough for Reimer and his attorney, the Liberty Institute's Hiram Sasser.
"I don't think we'll ever know all the particulars of why the microphone was cut off, but at the end of the day, they apologized, they did the right thing and we can move on from here," Sasser told Fox 4.
And with that, Reimergate -- Remingtongate? Micgate? Nomoregatesgate? -- comes to a surprisingly quick and merciful end.