Valedictorian Banned From Giving Graduation Speech

So Christian Bales, 18, gave it on the lawn outside
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2018 12:51 PM CDT

When you're banned from giving a high-school graduation speech, what do you do? Give it anyway. On the lawn. With a bullhorn. That's what 18-year-old Christian Bales did Friday after Holy Cross High School in Covington, Kentucky, told him earlier that day he would not be allowed to speak at graduation, ABC News reports. "When the proposed speeches were received, they were found to contain elements that were political and inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church," says a spokesman for the Diocese of Covington. So Bales stood outside the graduation venue and spoke about gun laws (wants stronger ones), abortion (applauds students who joined a pro-life march), and removing a Jefferson Davis statue (advocated for removal).

"'The young people will win' is a mantra that I'm sure many of you have heard if you've been attentive to the media recently," he said. "It's a phrase adopted by the prolific [Marjory] Stoneman Douglas teenagers [from Parkland, Florida] who are advocating for an agenda—our rights to feel secure as humans." His friend, Student Council President Katherine Frantz, was also banned and gave her speech on the lawn. Bales' mother described the school's last-minute action as "out-of-the-blue" and said Principal Mike Holtz told her the students' words were "aggressive, angry, confrontational," and overly personal, WCPO reports. She also said Holtz wanted her to confirm that Bales, who is openly gay, would wear men's clothing without bobby pins or makeup if he attended graduation, CBS News reports. (More graduation stories.)

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