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KY School Withholds Diploma from Grad Who Shared Gospel in Speech, Forcing Him to Apologize or Else


TALIA WISE

05-31-2024


A Kentucky high school student was forced to apologize to school administrators to get the diploma withheld from him because he violated graduation speech guidelines by going off script and praising Jesus.


Campbell County High School in Alexandria, KY withheld Micah Price's diploma for five days because he went off script from his planned graduation speech. 

The grad told a local Fox News affiliate he had submitted a total of eight drafts of his speech before a final one was approved. During his commencement speech, he used parts of his final draft, but when the opportunity presented itself, he decided to speak from the heart.


"Class, before another word leaves my mouth, I must give the honor, the praise, and the glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," Price said to the graduates during the ceremony on May 24 held at Truist Arena at Northern Kentucky University.

 

"Who in his very words tells us He is the Light, He is the Way, the Truth, and Life. Class, anyone in the audience today, I'm here to tell you that if you don't have any of those things in your life and can't seem to find the answer, then my Lord and Savior is your answer," he continued. Price said he was green-lighted to give praise to God during the speech but was advised to only read from the pre-approved script. 


"After the speech was over, one of the principals came in, tapped me on the shoulder, and very politely and professionally told me that I was going to have to go in front of the board and explain what I did because I went off script," Price said in a video posted to TikTok on Sunday. He added that he knew if he deviated from the script it could cost him his diploma. 

"I knew it was going to be held," Price said. "Before you do anything they tell us if you go up there and do a cartwheel or something stupid, that will get your diploma held."

Superintendent Shelli Wilson told WKRC that all speakers were warned that ad-libbing would have consequences.


"All speakers were told that going off their submitted speech, or any unplanned choices at graduation, may have repercussions as they would at any school function," she explained. 


"Off-program choices such as speech, signs, and caps in support of any cause or religion, injecting inappropriate language, or political election statements could lead to something other than this outpouring of Christian faith," Wilson added. 

Price shared that he had a portion of the call to salvation in his other drafts, but was told to remove them. 


"I had that in my script, and...they said that it was a public institution; and they didn't want to divide their audience or my audience because I was speaking," Price told the WKRC. "I think it was fine that I thanked him, but going in and urging them to follow him and urging other Christians to stand up and talk about him might be the thing they didn't want."

Wilson shared that Price was able to receive his diploma after meeting with school administrators. 


"I am in the wrong technically, because I went against Campbell County code, the rules," Price said in a TikTok video later adding that receiving his diploma is an "answered prayer."


Price has said he never intended for the incident to go viral or spark controversy. He mentioned in one video that some people have threatened school leaders. 

"Anyone that's taking a hateful route to this I please ask just you know, take a chill pill, take a time out because in John 1, it talks about how it is absolutely impossible to say you're a Christian if you don't love your brother or your neighbor," he admonished. 

"If you truly consider yourself a Christian, be loving and pray for me, that's all I need but thank you for the support, thanks for the support. We will get the diploma, everything's going to be fine," Price said.


Price later added that, despite knowing the consequences, he felt compelled to speak from the heart. "I simply cannot hold back what Christ has done in my life," he said. "He's everything to me."

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