Rick Santorum visits Grosse Pointe South High School to give speech on leadership

Event not without hitch; student detained for mentioning bomb in Tweet

Author: Joanne Marie Hoopes, ClickOnDetroit.com writer
Roger Weber, Local 4 Reporter
Published On: Apr 25 2013 03:06:28 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 24 2013 07:20:12 PM EDT
Rick Santorum speaks at Grosse Pointe South High School
GROSSE POINTE, Mich. -

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum visited Grosse Pointe South High School on Wednesday to give his speech to students on leadership.

The welcome for Santorum was enthusiastic and supporters say the speech was almost entirely non partisan.

"If you decide you want to get involved as citizens of this county and do something, you'll be amazed at the difference you can make," Santorum told students.

The event was not without a few controversies.

A male student inside the school was detained by police after his Tweet was discovered just before Santorum took the stage.

The Tweet said "Hey Mr. Santorum can you sign this bomb for me?"

Student Tweet during Santorum 's speech

During the assembly, 1100 of the 1700 students at the school attended the speech, after first getting permission slips signed from parents.  

A student chapter of Young Americans for Freedom pushed to bring Santorum to Michigan.

The speech almost didn't happen. School officials caused a national stir by canceling the speech earlier this month, then reversing the decision a day later.

Santorum accused school officials of cancelling his visit because of his stance against gay marriage.

"We have seen there is a tangible liberal bias within some of our public schools," said Peter Fox from Young Americans.

School officials said the speech was briefly cancelled after a request to obtain an advance copy of Santorum's speech was denied by event organizers.

"As we had more open dialog and discussion with Mr. Santorum we were getting a better sense of what was going to take place and that was evident today," said Grosse Pointe Public School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Harwood.

During the speech Santorum quoted Martin Luther King who spoke in the same auditorium 45-years prior. "He said I still believe that freedom is the bonus you receive for speaking the truth," quoted Santorum.

During the question and answer portion students didn't ask about his opposition to same sex marriage, but questions had to first be submitted to school administrators.  

Santorum posed with students and signed autographs before he left. "They did make a difference this was not going to happen and they persevered. They took leadership roles, they went out and proved that young people make a difference," he said.

Police are still determining what if anything to charge the student with for his Tweet. The student may also face expulsion from school.