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Rick Santorum Froths Over 'Free Speech Rights' After Michigan High School Cancels His Appearance

Rick Santorum's appearance at Grosse Pointe High School in Michigan was canceled by the school's superintendent Dr. Thomas Harwood after Santorum refused to provide an advance copy of his speech, the Detroit News reports:

Rick_santorumHarwood was told he could not preview the speech intended for more than 1,700 students during an assembly at the public high school and that Santorum never spoke before high school students, Fannon said.

Harwood met with Grosse Pointe High School principal Matt Outlaw and student Peter Fox, who was instrumental in getting Santorum to accept the invitation, and informed them of the decision, Fannon said. Parents were informed via email the same day, she said.

"The district just wanted to make sure the speech was focused on leadership. And when they were unwilling to review the speech, we couldn't allow them to come," Fannon said.

"As a public school system, we must be neutral, and we can't impose a position that is not neutral during a school activity during the school day," she said.

An outraged Santorum released a statement about the cancelation:

"It's a sad day when liberal educators are allowed to influence young minds - extending free speech rights only to those who share their liberal views.  I support traditional marriage; I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman.  I'm not sure what the administrators in the Grosse Pointe Public School System are afraid of, but these students deserve the respect to form their own opinion on this important issue.

"Furthermore, anyone who has ever seen me speak knows I rarely use prepared text.  In the case of Grosse Pointe High School - I was never asked for a copy of a speech, nor did I send one.  This has nothing to do with the content of a speech, but rather the context of my convictions."

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Comments

  1. why anyone would invite this nutcase in the first place is a mystery

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Apr 10, 2013 1:42:00 PM


  2. "This has nothing to do with the content of a speech, but rather the context of my convictions."

    They would have known the "context of his convictions" before issuing the invitation in the first place. It was clearly the content of his speech that was at issue.

    Posted by: Clayton | Apr 10, 2013 1:43:45 PM


  3. How can he speak about leadership, since his time in public office was so short. The vast majority of his time in the public eye has been spent preaching against marriage equality, and the basic right of gay people to exist. Those actions would lead some to believe that he really doesn't believe in allowing people to make up their own minds about any subject.

    He also misuses the word liberal. The cancellation was the action of educators, who didn't want to expose their students to someone who would insult them, their friends, or others who they love and know.

    Posted by: Cadence | Apr 10, 2013 1:49:29 PM


  4. He still has the right to make his little speech, just not at that high school. Schools have no obligation to let Frothy or any other kook hold court in an assembly. He's just throwing a tantrum because the platform he expected to have for eternity is being pulled out from under him, and it's only going to get more lonely with time.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 10, 2013 1:51:26 PM


  5. Typical right-wing moron. Free speech doesn't require anyone to provide you a forum for your nonsense.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 10, 2013 1:51:31 PM


  6. Quick, call the waaaaaaaaaaaaambulance.

    Obviously the school did the right thing since you were supposed to talk about "leadership" and you immediately went into a political rant on gay marriage.

    Posted by: e.c. | Apr 10, 2013 1:52:16 PM


  7. Why is it religious bigots always piss their panties when they **think** their bigotry might be challenged. Poor Ricky - like Romney, he's just not used to people saying "No" to him. Bigots never are.

    Posted by: hamish | Apr 10, 2013 1:53:05 PM


  8. Some guy from another state was going to do a speech in a public high school trying to brainwash/chastise kids about "traditional"marriage.....what the hell was he -- and the folks that originally invited him -- thinking?!??!? Since well do public schools even thik about inviting has-been politicians and self righteous dominionists to speak during the school day at a school wide assembly.

    Posted by: William | Apr 10, 2013 1:53:07 PM


  9. since "when," I meant.

    Posted by: William | Apr 10, 2013 1:53:53 PM


  10. so Ricky is calling the superintendent a liar? he said no one asked him for a copy of his speech AND he never writes his speeches? no wonder he never makes much sense. he can't remember everything he says...

    Posted by: mike/ | Apr 10, 2013 1:55:29 PM


  11. You have the right to your idiotic and outdated opinions, and the school has the right to ensure that you are not exposing kids to hate speech. Everyone knows Frothy is a one-note, anti-gay mouth-piece... I agree that if he was invited in the first place, they would have already known about his anti-gay stance. It would be interesting to know whether the school asks this of every potential speaker, which actually is a great policy, or whether an exception was made in his case.

    Posted by: graphicjack | Apr 10, 2013 1:58:28 PM


  12. In a class with Mitch McConnell who recently said,"The only way Senate Republicans can protect our democracy is by preventing a vote." Both need to consult their dictionaries before they let their asses overrun their mouths.

    Posted by: jleo71 | Apr 10, 2013 1:59:25 PM


  13. Who said they were worried about him talking about same sex marriage. They wanted to make sure he was talking about leadership... the speech could have talked about gun control, religion, He could have talked about how he came about with the last name that he had.

    All they asked was for a transcript of his speech, and when he failed to provide, they told him he couldn't come, and all of the sudden he turned it into a gay marriage issue. Nice way to make an assumption

    Posted by: Chris Baker | Apr 10, 2013 2:01:01 PM


  14. well hey hasbeen, go away make a difference on a different planet. no one wants you to divide the younger populace who can make up their own minds of today and the future. go away your hate speeches are not wanted.

    Posted by: albertam | Apr 10, 2013 2:03:12 PM


  15. Rick you can't force an audience to hear you out. You win audiences with a integrity, relevance and authority, all of which you have none.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 10, 2013 2:05:35 PM


  16. I'm just trying to get my head around the illogic and selfishness of this idiot. He has no right to speak there; he was invited, rejected their rules and was uninvited for being a bad guest. He's just the lowest of the low...any comparison to Hitler would do Hitler shame.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Apr 10, 2013 2:05:49 PM


  17. This is a tough one, but I think I come down on the side that Santorum should have been allowed to come to the school, so long as (a) kids were told they were free to challenge him, and (b) the school also invited high profile pro-equality speakers on a different day (who could also be challenged).

    Posted by: KML | Apr 10, 2013 2:06:56 PM


  18. This guy hasn't been rejected enough, in my opinion. Here's hoping the trend continues.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 10, 2013 2:07:56 PM


  19. I graduated from GP South not that long ago...but longer than I care to think about at the moment. It's been a bit of a low boil controversy for a couple weeks. It wasn't just that it was Frothy, the issue for a lot of parents and teachers was it was a mandatory assembly during school hours. I can not imagine the outcry if Nancy Pelosi was to speak at an all school mandatory assembly during school hours.


    Posted by: GuyinGPP | Apr 10, 2013 2:09:15 PM


  20. Mabye he would just have talked to them about the agony of defeat. It is a topic he knows a lot about. In his last run for the U S Senate in Pennsylvania, he was defeated by over 700,000 votes. YEA!!!

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 10, 2013 2:12:21 PM


  21. So when he is being challenged, he gets upset, but when he challenges the rights of others, all is well? I don't get it. BTW: "This has nothing to do with the content of a speech, but rather the context of my convictions."--Doesn't this sound like a line from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech?

    Posted by: MuscleModelBlog.com | Apr 10, 2013 2:14:10 PM


  22. Frothy still lives in a delusional world. Keep it up, Frothy, you're on your way to having your very own Rick Warren moment.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 10, 2013 2:18:19 PM


  23. Who is student Peter Fox that was 'instrumental in getting Santorum to accept the invitation' ?

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 10, 2013 2:23:16 PM


  24. wait...i know i'm canadian and thus...um...i could be unclear about this, but i'm pretty sure what he's arguing about isn't actually what the First Amendment is about......right?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 10, 2013 2:23:21 PM


  25. @musclemodelblog... it does and it was probably intentional. MLK, JR spoke at GP South in 1968, a couple of weeks before being killed. I'm sure frothy was going to compare himself to MLK at some point.

    Posted by: GuyinGPP | Apr 10, 2013 2:24:13 PM


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