Medina Valley HS Class Of 2011 And Angela Hildenbrand A Fighting Valedictorian!
by Sonja Harris on June 6, 2011 at 10:00 AM
“God thank you for the Blessings of today.”
“I thank you for your great love for us and for our great nation and where we are today."
"In Jesus Name I pray Amen”
Class Valedictorian, Angela Hildenbrand’s prayer at the commencement ceremony of the MVHS class of 2011
Regardless of what is being reported in the media it was not a ‘revival’. It was a graduation ceremony like many in the past. What was different, were the obstacles placed in order to maintain some tradition. Chief Judge Fred Biery’s hearing on the Schultz Family vs the Medina Valley Independent School District was held on Tuesday, May 31. His ruling the following day was in favor of the Schultz Family.
The court order stated that the words ‘Amen’ or that the words, ‘in (deity’s name) we pray’ could not be used. The ruling also stated that students could not present a prayer to their classmates. But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an appeal on June 2nd from the United States District Court for the Western district of Texas and on June 3rd the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dissolved the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that had been granted by the district court. Medina Valley ISD used ‘opening remarks’ and ‘closing remarks’ instead of the traditional ‘invocation’ and ‘benediction’ on the program given to all who attended.
The mandate of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allowed Angela Hildenbrand, class Valedictorian, the right to express herself using prayer if she so desired. So, when Angela ended her prayer with an, “Amen”, the entire audience seated in the stadium, about 5000, repeated after her in a strong and loud response, “AMEN!” A natural response to a hard road travelled for the right of freedom of expression. This signified a strong support for freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Erin Leu and Jonathan Saenz attorneys from LIBERTY INSTITUTE
I spoke to Angela the morning of her graduation, Saturday, June 4th just after she and Erin E. Leu, her attorney from Liberty Institute, had been on Fox and Friends. Erin had some words of praise for Angela. She told me that throughout the ordeal, “Angela has been poised, classy and mature.”
My questions to Angela were:
How do you feel about winning?
I feel so blessed to be a part of this and to see God’s hand through every thing and thankful that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit made the best decision.
Have your classmates been supportive?
My classmates were very supportive and banded together and stood up to fight in what they believe in.
Will you be using the original speech or are you changing it a bit?
I will be saying the same original speech just adding remarks about what has happened and I will include my prayer.
What have you learned from this experience?
It has been interesting to learn about the law process and to experience the media relations but most of all a great testament to the faithfulness of our God.
You must have great parents because they have helped mould you into the person you are today.
Yes, I am blessed to have my parents, Timothy and Sandra.
What are your plans after you graduate?
I will be attending Colorado Christian University and will major in Music Ministry. I sing and song write and play the guitar. But my major will be in voice. (I can attest to the fact that she has a beautiful voice…she sang the National Anthem at her graduation ceremony.)
What was your GPA?
4.61 On a 4.0 scale
It was a short but telling interview of this courageous young lady. She came across as sincere and determined to accomplish what ever goals she sets for herself.
We have to question the intent of the Schultz family as their lawsuit was filed on May 27, 2011 just days before the graduation ceremony on Saturday June 4th leaving very little time to react. I sincerely doubt that the graduation date of June 4th was a surprise to the Schultz family. Alesya N. Khan from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed the lawsuit for the Schultz family. I should add that Khan has been involved in more lawsuits against prayer then I care to mention. It is my belief that Khan purposely filed the lawsuit late, knowing the strength of our Attorney General and the conservative values of Texans in general, whether Republican or Democrat. Also information taken from the media, the Schultz family had a son who graduated in 2009 from Medina Valley HS stating that he was ‘wrongly subjected’ to school sponsored prayer.
The Schultz family appears to be more than just agnostic. They waited patiently at just the right moment to hurt and demoralize the graduating class of 2011. It did not happen. They did not expect such an outpouring of support from the entire community and Texans throughout the state. Corwin Schultz a member of the 238 graduating class did not attend his own graduation ceremony.
I want to thank all the Castroville residents including the American Legion Post 460 who were ecstatic and grateful for the right outcome from the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to the parents of Angela Hildenbrand for helping to mould such a strong and courageous young lady. I also want to thank my husband Bill who is my best supporter and to all the Conservatives In Action and TexasGOPVote who went to bat for our right of Free Speech.
Excerpts from Angela’s Personal Prayer:
God Thank you for the Blessings of this today
And thank you for the amazing group of people that you surrounded me with
God Thank you for the support of our whole entire community through this weeks hearing and also for
Erin and all the people at the Liberty Institute and my parents who helped them
God thank you for the men and women who have given their lives hoping to give us and protect the freedoms that we have today and
I ask you to please keep your hand of guidance on all of them past, present and future military.
God thank you for the gift of your Son and for the forgiveness that surpasses all understanding and most of all
I thank you for your great love for us and for our great nation and where we are today
In Jesus Name I pray Amen
EXCERPT FROM Case: 11-50486 Document: 00511498424 Page: 1 Date Filed: 06/03/2011
The motion also did not expressly address the involvement of the valedictorian in the graduation ceremony. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the emergency motion of the appellants to dissolve the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction is GRANTED; accordingly the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction entered by the district court are DISSOLVED, and the case is REMANDED to the district court for possible further proceedings. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the opposed motion of Angela Hildenbrand to intervene is DENIED without prejudice. She is hereby permitted to proceed as amicus curiae. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the opposed motion of Angela Hildenbrand for relief from temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction is DENIED as moot.
TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL GREG ABBOTT
Why not Thank our Texas Attorney General