Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News
The school district says students were told microphone would be turned off if they deviated from planned speeches.
The Joshua High School valedictorian veered off his prepared speech and talked about freedom of speech when administrators turned off his microphone during Thursday night's graduation ceremony.
"I worked hard to earn the right to address you all tonight as valedictorian and have the constitutional right, like any of you, to freely speak," Remington Reimer said.
But administrators cut off his microphone before briefly turning it back on.
"Yesterday, I was threatened to have my mic turned off," Reimer continued.
That's when the district pulled the plug for good.
Many people applauded as he continued speaking even though few could hear him.
Joshua school district administrators say they censored Reimer because he began to stray from his prepared remarks.
"At the time that the speech was deviated from, the microphone was turned off -- and they were told that, prior to the graduation ceremony, regardless of content," Superintendent Fran Marek said.
In addition to being the smartest kid in his class, Reimer was active in Junior ROTC and has accepted a full scholarship to the U.S. Naval Academy, friends say.
In his speech, he mentioned God and Jesus and his religious faith while urging others to stick up for their constitutional rights.
Administrators say his religious comments had nothing to do with their decision to cut him off, noting that other students were allowed to make religious comments which had been pre-approved.
"The valedictorian, salutatorian and historian speeches were all reviewed prior to the graduation and had prior approval," Marek said. "The students were told that if they deviated from their speeches, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content."
The Reimer family is not talking about the incident. A notice taped to their front door said, "No comment."
The Joshua Independent School District has posted its statement about the graduation on its website.