Richard Abowitz from the latimes.com blog has posted an interview he conducted with Brittany McComb. For readers unfamiliar with Brittany’s story, click here for our coverage. For the rest of you, excerpts from Brittany’s interview are below.
Question: [One of my readers asks]: “Why didn’t you take legal action when the school edited your written speech? Couldn’t this be handled without showboating at the commencement?” Leaving out the value judgment of ‘showboating,’ did you think of doing something before the incident?
Brittany: Oh, yes. My mom called the school board lawyer and his secretary promised to call right back and didn’t. We tried numerous times to get in touch with the [school] district lawyer. From the moment they gave us the revised speech we began calling. It was like he was avoiding us and not returning our calls. We tried so many times and graduation was nearing, school was already out, we didn’t know what to do. I think people get the impression that this was set and done and all premeditated, but things just came into place the way they did. It was never like beforehand I was like, “Oh, they are going to cut off my mike and I am going to have a lawsuit.” No. I never thought about media. I just thought about expressing what was in me and that was Christ. It was the knowledge I gained from His words. There was a set of guidelines they gave us for writing the speech and I followed them step by step. Everything about their editing violated my logic and my principles. I was kind of shocked by it. I was like, “Why are they doing this?” I’ve been a good kid. I’ve done everything they asked of me in every aspect of school life.
Question: I think the one question readers feel most focused on is why you at first agreed to give the edited speech and then did not do so? There is a sense running through many of the comments left on my blog that you were deceptive in doing that. When you said you would give the edited speech did you mean it or were you fibbing?
Brittany: You mean when I said I’d give the edited speech?
Question: Yes. Did you at first agree to give the edited speech?
Brittany: Yes. The actual situation was that the my assistant principal confronted me in the hallway and demanded to know what I was going to do. My parents were out of town, we still had not contacted the lawyer, everything was chaotic, and I was like “What am I going to do?” I had no idea. So I had to say something and I was at my wits end. I was very intimidated. So I kind of said, “yes” and I regret it. I wish I had stood up right then for myself.
Question: So you did agree to give the edited version at first?
Brittany: I didn’t know what I was going to do. I did say I would give the revised speech. I regret it. But it wasn’t malicious. I wasn’t thinking, “I’m going to stick it to you to get my free speech.” Christ has abundant forgiveness. I really just wanted to tell my classmates about this light and love in my life and it tore me apart that they (school officials) did not want me to be who I am. It was like they wanted me to lie over who I am. In hindsight I regret not standing up for myself right away.
Read the rest of the interview by clicking here.
For full coverage of Brittany’s story, click here.
I completely understand where she is coming from.
Although I have never gone to public school I have been given the “opportunity” to have pressure similar to the principal’s applied.
In one particular meeting I was involved in several years ago I should have spoken up immediately about why something was not going to work with my convictions, but because of timidity and too much pressure I was unable to say anything. It was only after a car drive and talk with my parents that I was given the courage to call back and explain my position.
Obviously, it would have been better to speak up at the first, (In both cases it would have saved a lot of trouble) but everyone is at different levels of growth are not yet perfected fully to the image of Christ.
I think we need to take Brittany’s statement at face value and realize that she regrets saying yes and wishes she had stood up right at the beginning. That is one mistake she will think twice about repeating. I know I learned a lot from my experience, and her maturity is probably growing by leaps and bounds right now too.
Everyone: Sorry about the links. Everything should work now.
Sukey: One interview should not define a person for you. In this interview I’m sure she was having to work around a lot of advice on what to say and not to say. Her lawyers were in on the conference call. The situation didn’t lend itself to her being completely open about where she could have improved.
Brittany: Thanks for waiting to read the entire interview. However, I would also encourage you to check out some of the other materials we have collected. An interview is like a picture. You can’t assume that the one snapshot you have of someone is really what they look like all the time. In the same way, one interview should not define Brittany McComb.
Sounds like she is just a girl who was overwhelmed with a decision to make and didn’t have the protection or guidance she needed when approached by the principle. The principle was using his authority to intemidate the young lady, and that was not right! The wise response would of been, “I need to talk to my parents about this before I give you an answer.” But, I know sometimes, especially for young ladies, a man demanding an answer like that, can cause you to make decision without giving any thought to the question. It was her natural defense to say what would get the principle off her back. It is clear that the young lady was unprotected in that situation.
Not so impressed by her, really. She comes across as rather immature and prevaricating – and unwilling to face up to the fact that she breached her promise. What do you all think?
It sounds like that to me but I want to read the rest of it before I come to a conclusion. Plus, I heard that she tried calling the school later to tell them she had changed her mind but they refused to call her back.
Link doesn’t come through for me either
The link is not working. I would really like to read the rest of the story. Is there an alternative URL?