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Calif. student defies school, speaks of Christian faith in graduation speech

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Brook Hamby, this year's class salutatorian at California's Brawley Union High School, asserted his First Amendment right to freedom of expression and spoke of his Christian faith, despite having his speech denied three times by the school, the Christian Post reported Monday.

"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," he said, according to an account at The Blaze.

"In life, you will be told, 'No,'" he added. "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."

The speech caused murmurs and whispers from the crowd, but he continued: "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."

He quoted from the Bible, a book he called "the biggest best-selling book of all-time in history."

According to the Post, Hamby quoted Matthew 5:13, which reads: "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."

Hamby, The Blaze added, has had a stellar high school career, having become a mock-trial star, a cross-country runner and a U.S. Senate page. Judging from the comments at the Desert Star, Hamby's speech and courage were well received.

"I believe his speech was awesome and unbelievably inspiring to all the students, faculty, and family alike. Your faith is unbreakable," one person wrote. "God bless you for your strength and courage to stand up for our love and faith in our ONE TRUE GOD."

The Christian Post said Hamby is just one of many Christian honorees who have been censored by their schools.

Last June, for example, 18-year-old Roy Costner IV ripped up his school-approved speech and recited the Lord's Prayer in defiance of his school's policy change regarding prayer.

Kaitlin Nootbaar, the 2012 valedictorian at her Oklahoma school, was denied her diploma after using the word "hell" in her speech.

"Her quote was, 'When she first started school she wanted to be a nurse, then a veterinarian, and now that she was getting closer to graduation, people would ask her, what do you want to do, and she said, 'How the hell do I know? I've changed my mind so many times,'" her father told Fox News.

One Christian student was allegedly denied admission to the Community College of Baltimore County's Radiation Therapy Program for his religious beliefs, the American Center for Law and Justice recently said.

Video of Hamby's speech can be seen above.

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