Tampa 5th-grader's controversial speech earns spot in regional c - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa 5th-grader's controversial speech earns spot in regional contest

Posted: Updated:
Zachary Golob-Drake won a speech writing contest for his class at the Patel Partnership School in Tampa, but then had his blue ribbon taken away. Zachary Golob-Drake won a speech writing contest for his class at the Patel Partnership School in Tampa, but then had his blue ribbon taken away.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Last week, 5th-grader Zachary Golob-Drake won a speech writing contest for his class at the Patel Partnership School in Tampa, but then had his blue ribbon taken away by an assistant principal who called his speech's religious content "inappropriate."

On Monday, he delivered that speech again and was chosen to represent the entire 5th grade at the regional 4-H Tropicana Public Speech Contest.

"I was so nervous," he said after receiving another blue ribbon and gold medal. "I'm so happy and excited."

Golob-Drake's speech about the history of people using religion to justify murder caused a stir last week when he says Assistant Principal Candice Dodd told him he couldn't continue in the school's speech competition.

News Channel 8 told his story and it went viral online, and Golob-Drake gained supporters from around the world.

Related: Tampa 5th grader's religion speech sparks controversy

School officials postponed last Thursday's speech contest until Monday. They sent home permission slips to parents so they could decide whether they wanted their children to step out during any of the speeches.

All 4th and 5th grade winners presented their speeches Monday and Golob-Drake won for the 5th grade. He will now represent his school in the regional competition.

Watch: Zachary reads his speech

His speech included a brief paragraph on the Crusades, Genghis Khan and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. It ends by encouraging "the Golden Rule" and saying that would "make the world a better place."

His mother, Rhonda Golob-Drake was worried that the attention from the assistant principal would keep her son from getting a fair evaluation during the contest. She was also upset that the permission slip labeled his topic as: "Religious Beliefs Regarding Death."

Read the FULL TEXT of Zachary's speech "In the Name of Religion"

"That's not what the speech is about at all," she said. "That gives the wrong impression."

She said four students left the room during her son's speech. And three students left during a speech about Nikki Manaj.

"It's kind of funny that three of the four students who left during Zachary's speech had already heard the speech last week during the class presentation," she said.

Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts
  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:39 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:39:35 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:20 PM EDT2014-07-22 16:20:35 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • How thieves clone your credit cards

    How thieves clone your credit cards

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:15:02 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
  • NewsMore>>

  • Polk residents told to stop cutting their grass near the water

    Polk residents told to stop cutting their grass near the water

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:31:14 GMT
    Mark Vandertie wants a safer path for his grandchildren to walk to the water at his new Island Lakes home in Winter Haven but the builder told him not to cut anymore because it's a wetlands violation.Mark Vandertie wants a safer path for his grandchildren to walk to the water at his new Island Lakes home in Winter Haven but the builder told him not to cut anymore because it's a wetlands violation.
    Some Winter Haven homeowners are waist high in weeds as they wait for answers on whether they can cut their backyards.About a month ago, the Island Lakes Homeowners Association and Southwest Florida Water Management District told some 40 homeowners to stop cutting the grass near the water.
    Some Winter Haven homeowners are waist high in weeds as they wait for answers on whether they can cut their backyards.About a month ago, the Island Lakes Homeowners Association and Southwest Florida Water Management District told some 40 homeowners to stop cutting the grass near the water.
  • 4 - 5,000 attend Snooty's 66th birthday bash

    4 - 5,000 attend Snooty's 66th birthday bash

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:03:55 GMT
    Snooty’s 66th birthday “cake”  was made from cabbage, strawberries, pineapple, sweet potatoes and beets. South Florida Museum photoSnooty’s 66th birthday “cake” was made from cabbage, strawberries, pineapple, sweet potatoes and beets. South Florida Museum photo
    Imagine 4,000 people coming to your birthday party. That's about how many people showed up to celebrate the 66th birthday of Tampa Bay's beloved Snooty the manatee. 
    Imagine 4,000 people coming to your birthday party. That's about how many people showed up to celebrate the 66th birthday of Tampa Bay's beloved Snooty the manatee. 
  • New surveillance shows Tampa boy's death as hit and run

    New surveillance shows Tampa boy's death as hit and run

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 4:51 PM EDT2014-07-22 20:51:45 GMT
    A still image from a business surveillance camera shows what appears to be a small boy running on the sidewalk.A still image from a business surveillance camera shows what appears to be a small boy running on the sidewalk.
    New surveillance video has Tampa Police investigating 4-year-old Marterrance Albury's death as a hit and run. 
    New surveillance video has Tampa Police investigating 4-year-old Marterrance Albury's death as a hit and run. 
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • New surveillance shows Tampa boy's death as hit and run

    New surveillance shows Tampa boy's death as hit and run

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 4:51 PM EDT2014-07-22 20:51:45 GMT
    A still image from a business surveillance camera shows what appears to be a small boy running on the sidewalk.A still image from a business surveillance camera shows what appears to be a small boy running on the sidewalk.
    New surveillance video has Tampa Police investigating 4-year-old Marterrance Albury's death as a hit and run. 
    New surveillance video has Tampa Police investigating 4-year-old Marterrance Albury's death as a hit and run. 
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.