Even though the school principal and other teachers called her presentation the "obvious winner," the judges disqualified her because of the topic. The judges later reversed the disqualification after one of the judges quit. She will now represent her school in a regional speech competition.
This brave 12 year old should be an example to other students who stand up for what they believe even if it means ruffling a few feathers. But I have been thinking . . . would I have been as supportative of her actions if she had wanted to speak on global warming or national health care and took a statist view and a conservative or libertarian teacher tried to silence her? I hope so. Free speech should be supported even when we disagree with what is being said. And, yes, I am an absolutist about this. I do support someone's right to burn the flag. But what about yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded movie theater? The movie theater, aka, the property owner, may restrict free speech but government cannot. Period. But, but, but . . . "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . ." PERIOD!
(Yes, I know this was in Canada and they don't have the same Constitutional protections on free speech and it was a school - not Congress - attempting to restrict her speech, but I am not going to let the facts get in the way of a good rant.)
Here is the video of the speech: