The ACLU is not content with censoring and then pulling the plug on high school graduation speeches in Nevada.
Officials and a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union said Friday that administrators followed federal law when they cut the microphone on Foothill High School valedictorian Brittany McComb as she began deviating from a preapproved speech and reading from a version that mentioned God and contained biblical references.
“There should be no controversy here,” ACLU lawyer Allen Lichtenstein said. “It’s important for people to understand that a student was given a school-sponsored forum by a school and therefore, in essence, it was a school-sponsored speech.”
They are also hard at work on prohibiting the expression of dissent by their own board members.
Several board members of the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concerns at a meeting yesterday over proposed standards that would prohibit board members from publicly criticizing the organization’s policies and internal operations.
“I cannot vote for these proposals, as I have violated them nearly every time I have written an op-ed piece or spoken to the press,” said Mary Ellen Gale, an at-large member.
Bennett Hammer, a board member representing the organization’s New Mexico affiliate, cited examples of decisions in the last few years that he said had embarrassed the A.C.L.U. and contended that adopting the proposals would be yet another of “the things that have made us a laughingstock with the public.”
The board nonetheless voted against motions to strike the controversial provisions from the proposals and instead opted for further discussion.
Emily Whitfield, an A.C.L.U. spokeswoman, said the failure of the motions was not an endorsement of the proposals. “A vote at this early stage would have been a departure from the board’s deliberative process, and to suggest otherwise would be unfair and misleading,” she wrote in an e-mail message.
One of the provisions said, “a director may publicly disagree with an A.C.L.U. policy position, but may not criticize the A.C.L.U. board and staff.”
Another said, “Where an individual director disagrees with a board position on matters of civil liberties policy, the director should refrain from publicly highlighting the fact of such disagreement.”
Shouldn’t these guys change their name already?