High School Valedictorian Uses Speech To Protest TX Abortion Laws
Being the valedictorian at your high school graduation can be exciting and stressful under the best of circumstances. Last weekend Lake Highlands High School valedictorian, Paxton Smith, ditched her pre-approved presentation to share her thoughts on the new abortion bill in Texas.
WFAA reports that her original presentation was on the topics of media and content, she decided 10 days before the ceremony to change her presentation. She did tell her parents, who were mostly supportive. She did not inform the school.
Commonly referred to as the 'Heartbeat Bill' the new bill bans abortions after six weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. The more she thought about it, the more upset she became. So she put her 104.93 grade point average to work and rewrote her presentation.
She says she has not heard anything from the Richardson ISD since giving her speech, and she apparently received her diploma. Meanwhile, the Richardson ISD has issued a statement that they are in the process of reviewing their student speech policies.
While her words were about the new abortion bill, her message was to use your platform, your voice, and your rights to do what you think is right.
The audience seemed surprised, almost stunned, at the topic of her valedictorian presentation at first, then some began to cheer and applaud. By the end of her three and a half minute speech most of the audience was cheering.
Not surprisingly the video of the presentation has gone viral to the point of being shared by prominent Democratic political figures like Hillary Clinton and Beto O'Rourke.