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High Desert holy controversy

Yucca Valley High School Controversey

YUCCA VALLEY, Calif. - A holy war of words in the high desert over the words a motivational speaker used when he talked to students at Yucca Valley High School.  The school apologized, but both parents and students say 'not so fast.'

Bob Holmes is known as the "one man volleyball team."  He travels the country speaking to kids about overcoming challenges.

Jake Frank, a senior at YVHS, says, "The message at the end was very positive, mostly on teen suicide and drunk driving."

Skye Begnaud, a senior at YVHS, says, "I just thought it was really inspirational and the things that he touched on where important for high school, like things that we should hear."

Holmes spoke to students at Yucca Valley High School during school hours earlier this week.

Frank says, "It was very moving and very positive for the entire student body."

Jennifer Kieffer, a parent, says, "I received a few texts of how awesome it was and how much this guy has changed their minds.  One girl in particular, was having a bout with depression; this actually really helped her."

But, it's what he said at the end of his speech that's divided students and parents.

"It was five seconds of 'I love Jesus and he is my savior.' The crowd cheered and I thought it was awesome," said Dalin Nelson, a junior at YVHS.
But, some students and teachers got offended.

"There is a lot of upset kids we were in Sociology and we had a huge class discussion about it; and a lot of kids were like 'I was offended' and we were uncomfortable," explained Begnaud.

In response, the school put a statement online saying in part, "The personal comment was inappropriate for the nature of the assembly."

Nelson, says, "I don't understand that because it's freedom of speech.

Jim Kieffer, a parent and the school's assistant football coach, says, "Its really wrong; they should not apologize for what he said for 5 seconds.  He wasn't saying 'I want you to believe in Jesus Christ.'  He said what he believed."

"As a parent we have to put up with a lot around here, the teachers can display rainbow flags all day long in their classroom and we are very quiet about it  but the minute somebody says Jesus, there is an uproar," said Jennifer Kieffer.

Frank says, "I think the mod on campus is for the most part people are wondering why."

We went to Yucca Valley High School to talk to the principal about exactly what happened, but we were told the school isn't giving any comment. In fact, they asked us to leave the premises.

Begnaud says, "I think its getting a little out of control."

Some students decided to take a stand.

"There is a petition going around having people sign it saying that they want Bob to come back," said Nelson.

"He had a very positive message and that's what our youth needs, positive re-enforcement," said Jennifer Kieffer.

The Superintendent of the Morongo Unified School District did talk with us on the phone.  He told us the district needs to keep the separation of church and state.

There is no word tonight on if Holmes will be banned from speaking at the school again.

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