He’s a successful student, yet his high school administration refused to allow him to speak openly about his faith at his graduation. Yet that didn’t stop California’s Brawley Union High School senior Brook Hamby.
“In coming before you today, I presented three drafts of my speech, all of them denied on account of my desire to share with you my personal thoughts and inspiration to you: my Christian faith,” Hamby said. “In life, you will be told, ‘No.’ In life you will be told to do things that you have no desire to do. In life, you will be asked to do things that violate your conscience and desire to do what is right.”
He added, “No man or woman has ever truly succeeded or been fulfilled on the account of living for others and not standing on what they knew in their heart was right or good.”
Then he quoted from “the biggest best-selling book of all-time in history.”
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” he quoted, from Matthew in the Holy Bible. “It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
“Be the salt of the earth, be strong and stand for your convictions and stand for what right, what is ethical, what is moral and Godly no matter what is the cost to you,” Hamby concluded. “Stand for whatever is good wherever you go and what ever you do.”
No word on whether his act of disobedience against the school district cost him his diploma.
In High Point, North Carolina the dress she wore was exactly a half-inch too short.
With two hours left in the last day of her senior year of high school, Violet Burkhart said the milestone she hoped would be “great and exciting” was “pretty much ruined.”
A teacher at Central Davidson High School pulled her aside and measured her dress in the middle of the hallway, then told her to call her mother, because she had to go home and change. In tears, Violet did as directed.
“I literally looked back at the clock and I’m thinking, ‘It’s one in the afternoon on her last day of her senior year,’” said Amy Redwine, Burkhart’s mother. “My daughter — it’s supposed to be one of her best days and she’s there crying.”
She isn’t disputing the districts dress code, but thinks it could have been handled better, given the fact Violet had worn the dress to school before. So in response, Redwine decided to wear the same dress to her daughter’s graduation.
“If her dress is too short, then my dress is too short,” Redwine stated, “and I’m going to wear it in front of everybody and be proud just like she should have been able to on her last day.”
The school district has yet to comment on the matter.
Finally, Quintin Murphy disrobed during his graduation ceremony to display his leopard-print skivvies at Jack Britt High School, he was stripped of his diploma.
Murphy stripped down to draw attention to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — specifically his uncle and grandfather — and how they’re being cared for medically by Veterans Affairs.
“Fayetteville does not have the best VA hospital,” said Murphy. “I have been there with my uncle and grandfather, and I’ve see how poor things are, and like these are men that have served.”
His uncle Leonard Johnson, a disabled Iraq war vet, knew what he was planning for the ceremony and says he supports his nephew.
“You know it really touched my heart,” Johnson said.
Johnson said for the last decade he’s battled the VA over PTSD and other medical treatments.
“I have been on morphine for 10 years,” said Johnson. “It took over a year-and-a-half to get my brace, my back brace, my knee braces, and an arm brace.”
School officials claim Murphy’s actions were inappropriate, and for that reason he won’t receive his diploma and has been banned from school property.
He was escorted off by police following the stunt but was not charged with a crime. But Murphy, who plans to go to college and then enlist in the Army, says it was worth it.