WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) So apparently playing an instrumental version of "Ave Maria" during graduation at Henry M. Jackson High School, in Everett, Wash., is not allowed.
More importantly, according to the Supreme Court, suing Henry M. Jackson High School for not letting you play an instrumental version of "Ave Maria" during graduation is also not allowed.
The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Kathryn Nurre, a former student at Henry M. Jackson High School. Nurre, who was a senior in 2006, wanted to play "Ave Maria" - Hail Mary for all those who don't speak Latin like me (Quomodo vales?) - with the band's wind ensemble at the graduation.
Administrators raised red flags at the school when they heard about the idea from the wind ensemble seniors, who had played Franz Biebl's uptempo 1964 rendering of "Ave Maria" without controversy at a winter concert.
A year before, choral performance of the song "Up Above My Head" at the 2005 commencement drew complaints and protest letters to the town's newspaper. Therefore, school officials said the seniors could not play the song since the title alone identified "Ave Maria" as religious and that graduation should be strictly secular.
Nurre sued, claiming unspecified damages from infringement of First Amendment rights. The federal courts threw out the lawsuit, with judges saying it was reasonable for a school official to prohibit the performance of an obviously religious piece.
The court's majority turned away her request for appeal without comment. But Justice Samuel Alito said he would have heard her case.
There are nearly 10 million students under the jurisdiction of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Alito said. The decision by the San Francisco-based appeals court could lead to censorship of other forms of student expression outside of music, like student speeches and other school events.
And now here's an interesting factoid, according to a FReeper:
The State of Washington clearly lacks members of the bar who are conservative and have any familiarity with classical music.
There is no "instrumental version" of Ave Maria.
The music is Ellens dritter Gesang III (Ellen's Third Song) composed by Franz Schubert in 1825 as a setting of a song from Walter Scott's epic poem, The Lady of the Lake.
Kathryn Nurre should have asked to been placed on the graduation program in 2006 to perform Schubert's Ellens dritter Gesang III. Her attorney should have been primed to capture the evidence when school officials demonstrated their cultural ignorance and religious bias by objecting to the performance.
I am certain that Miss Nurre would have been a superb witness and made a compelling case on the stand proving the severe emotional distress imposed by the manifestly ignorant, malicious, and incompetent school administrators.
Any attorney who did not simply send away two box tops and $0.50 for his or her law degree should have been able to make each and every school administrator who acted or complained about Schubert's masterpiece as so ably performed by Miss Nurre, unemployed and unemployable; after seizing all of their assets on behalf of Miss Nurre (while keeping at least one-third for their own efforts.)
If said attorney was at all competent, the school officials could probably have been made to function as a private network of ATMs on behalf of Miss Nurre for the rest of their lives.[snip]