School policy prevails over free speech in announcements of God Bless America in metro Detroit

Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-25 11:47:37-04

This goes back to last June after the worst mass shooting in U. S. history at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 

Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 others, before he was killed by police after a three hour standoff.

The event moved Clay Martin to ask for a moment of silence while he did the morning public address announcements the next morning at Plymouth High School. 

He also said, “May God bless the Unites States and may God bless you all.”

The Principal told him he could not longer make any references to God and would have to get any future announcements he wanted to make approved by her in advance. 

She declined to talk with 7 Action News.

Clay Martin also leads the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning announcements and that includes, “One nation under God” but that is allowed.

This issue has many people talking since it hit the school newspaper. Some parents talking to 7 Investigator Jim Kiertzner outside of school said saying God Bless American should be allowed.

School officials in a statement said:

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools has policies and guidelines in place to ensure safety and respect for all students and all beliefs.

The administrative guideline 8220, which states: "No announcement shall be read which has not been approved by the principal, religious readings or exercises shall not be a part of opening, closing, or any other exercise for any school day" is intended to protect the rights of all students. The district is confident this matter was handled properly and in the best interest of all students.