School Bans Gay Valedictorian from Honoring Parkland Students -- Claims His Graduation Speech Was 'Inconsistent' with Catholic Values

Officials from a Catholic high school and the diocese that runs it banned its own valedictorian, Christian Bales, from delivering his graduation speech. Bales says he doesn't know if being gay was the reason for being denied the traditional right and honor.

Administration officials at Covington, Kentucky's Holy Cross High School first used an excuse other schools have tried to bar the student from speaking: he missed the deadline to submit his speech for review. But Bales says he was never given a deadline to submit his speech.

The school and the diocese then told him he could not deliver his speech because its content was too political. In a statement to WCPO a spokesman said Bales' speech was "inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

It's unclear how that's possible. The entire text of Bales speech can be read online. You can also watch it below. In it, he delivers a theme of young people empowering themselves to further issues of social justice – which once was a pillar of Catholic teachings.

Bales' speech is in part a tribute to the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who went on to literally change America this year after a gunman shot and killed 17 people on their campus in February.

“The young people will win," Bales says in his speech, repeating a phrase used by the Parkland student survivors, "because we’re finished being complacent," he says.

"There’s a misguided notion that wisdom is directly proportional to age, but we’re disproving that daily. Sometimes the wisest are the youngest in our lives, the ones who haven’t yet been desensitized to the atrocities of our world. Therefore, we young people must be the educators. The young people must be willing to speak candidly about issues, and we mustn’t tremble in the face of the institutions that try to silence us," Bales' speech urges.

Sadly, his own school and diocese did just that.

Bales was not allowed to deliver his remarks during the graduation ceremony, so when it was over, he grabbed a megaphone and shared his remarks with his classmates, friends, and families. And presumably, some of the administration who banned his remarks for being un-Christian.

Here's Bales' entire speech.

Is this "inconsistent" with Christian values?

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.