On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

School lets 10-year-old speak out against abortion — to an empty auditorium

Ranchero Elementary School allowed 10-year-old Calise Jontz to make her heart-felt speech against abortion.

To an auditorium cleared of students.

“Did you know that from the moment of conception, every distinctive characteristic of this new human being is programmed into this single initial cell?” asked Calise Jontz, a fifth grader during the May 6 Annual Zone Public Speaking Competition for grade schoolers in Falklands, British Columbia.

Here is Calise, rehearsing her speech at home:

YouTube Preview Image

“Young, bright-eyed and articulate, 10-year-old Calise lives with her parents and seven siblings on a cattle ranch in rural British Columbia,” writes Rebecca Millette for LifeSiteNews. “An avid Justin Bieber fan, she also loves horses, reading, singing and dancing. Most recently, she has become a pro-life advocate.”


In her speech, she declares: “Today I will be speaking to you about abortion. Is this a controversial issue? Yes, but like all controversial issues, it requires urgent attention and education.”

She first made her speech as part of a school contest. When Calise first delivered it, teachers and staff “didn’t seem to be bothered by this topic,” says Calise’s mom, Yolanda Jontz, “although the principal did request to hear her speech initially, I guess to make sure it was appropriate for elementary school aged children.”

All that changed when Calise went to the regional speech competition at a nearby host school, where Jontz says her daughter encountered what she called “intimidated censorship,” reports Millette.


Calise deliberately omitted graphic details about abortion and did not describe partial birth abortions. Instead, she stuck to the facts in a manner appropriate for a young audience of her peers.

“Nevertheless, upon arriving at the host school for the speech competition,” reports Millette, “Yolanda and her daughter found the gymnasium nearly empty, where Yolanda says usually the entire school, as well as competitors and parents, would attend. A handful of competitors, parents, and the judges were present for Calise’s speech, but only after her speech, as well as few others, did both younger and older students come.”

The child’s mother says that Calise’s speech was singled out and boycotted.


Principal Denise Brown says no letter about the speech was sent out warning anybody about the speech. However, she declined to explain why the gym was almost empty — and directed allquestions to Wendy Woodhurst, School District Director of Instruction.

Woodhurst refused to comment.

Calise’s mother says at least one parent that she knows of received a warning letter about the abortion speech.

No mention was made of other controversial topics.

“We weren’t informed that one speech was going to be about dolphin slaughter, or that another was about how great Lady Gaga is. This seemed unfair,” says Calise’s mother.

After her speech, an unidentified man, with tears in his eyes, commended Calise for her speech and her bravery.


Another student’s father, formerly a trustee with the school board, also praised Calise and expressed concern about the negative attention surrounding her speech. He said he might not agree with everything Calise presented, but he would never have censored her topic.

The speech, he added, had sparked good discussion with his own daughters.

In the speech Calise asked: “Is the fetus human? And does it deserve protection?” concluding, “The answer to both is yes.”

“So what is abortion, you ask?” concluded the 10-year-old. “Abortion isn’t just ending a pregnancy or eliminating a piece of tissue. No, abortion is killing an unborn child and hurting a mother.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tamberland

    I applaud you little one, for your courage & your strong conviction about deserving the right to live. God heard you & He placed the “right” people in your audience to hear the message as well. God spoke to them, through you. Now leave it in His hands & He will deliver your message, His way…LOUD & CLEAR….I’m reading/listening aren’t I, & I live in Virginia! Have faith, precious one, for out of the mouths of babes the truth shall be known. Many blessings to you & your family.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jason

    Thanks for your courage, and God will no doubt bless this message that you have given. This will spread to so many over the Internet and remind people about the most important and first right of all – the right to life. God bless your parents and your family for teaching and encouraging you to speak up for those that can not speak for themselves. May our Lord Jesus give you His strength and His peace!

    In the hearts of Jesus & Mary,

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jannice

    You are an amazing little girl and I am deeply touched by your courage and faith. Wow…at such a young age, you have the conviction to stand your ground for this very important message. I want you to know we heard you in Tennessee today and you have made me a stronger person! Great job!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Erlinda Barton

    Here PHRAISING God! for your boldness and speaking out the TRUTH. Thank you for a woderful speech and being an example to us all. May God continue to bless you and your family in all you do for His Glory.
    God bless and love you in Christ Jesus.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Beverly

    Thank you for speaking up for the babies waiting to be born. Our children are adopted and could certainly have been aborted…our oldest by her unwed birth mother who has MS; our son by his married birth parents because his birth father couldn’t deal with a “defective” child; and, our youngest by her young, married birth parents because he “wanted to be a test pilot”. They have Down syndrome and are 21, almost 20, and almost 19 years old. We love them soooo much and are so thankful the birth parents knew abortion was wrong!!!!!!
    And, I totally agree with Tamberland, ….so stay courageous and strong in the Lord!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment frankie luntz

    people are entitled to making their own decisions, but not to force other people to have the govt shove that decision down their throat.

    A fetus is exactly that: not a baby nor a full-fledged human being, anymore than a blueprint is identical to a completely built skyscraper. (According to Hammurabi’s Code and) the Hebrew Bible (Ex 21:23: the only unambiguous, legally normative Scriptural verse on the matter) the fetus is property. So abortion, if unwarranted, is, at best, a tort, NOT murder. You may disagree with the Bible. That is your choice.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jean

    If a fetus has a heart, and it is beating…it’s alive. Hence if you take it’s life it is murder. This young lady should be praised for reminding so many of this.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment frankie luntz

    “If a fetus has a heart, and it is beating…it’s alive. Hence if you take it’s life it is murder.”

    Thanks to modern technology, we can keep brain dead people alive for ever. So you support this, Jean ? Would you pay for it?

    You insist that anything that is alive that has its life taken away constitutes murder? That means that you are against capital punishment- which the Bible endorses!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment brian

    Right on Calise!! Missouri hears you loud and clear!

    God Bless you

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cicie

    from the day that you conceived, the fetus becomes a human being. If its not murder, then why when we kill somebody we call it murder. A life is a life, before and after birth, we need to call it what it is, MURDER . I am strongly against ABORTION, I wished I new then what I know now. That is why we need to educate people about abortion.I Have a couple of them over a decade ago, it took me year to let it go and forgive myself, sometime I consider myself as a murderer for paying a doctor to help me take away my beautiful unborn child’s life. If you that you would aborted it, then don’t get pregnant. Having sex = pregnancy.

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