Officials at the Holy Cross High School in Covington, Kentucky banned the class valedictorian from delivering his graduation speech. After a careful review of a copy of his address, the school told Christian Bales that he wouldn't have to talk in front of his class.
Hours before the graduation ceremony that Friday, a confused Bales and his friend, the student council president Katherine Frantz, were advised about their speeches. They thought these have been approved days ago.
After an emergency meeting, however, the diocese decided to scrap their speech from the program because of its political tone. They were told it did not reflect what the Catholic Church taught.
"The diocese took ours and said they were too confrontational, too angry, too personal, and that they weren't appropriate for the setting," the valedictorian said."I know they pointed out that the Parkland teens teach ideologies that apparently go against the Catholic faith, which I don't agree with in my experience," he added.
A statement from the diocese clarified that the students did not submit copies of their speeches for review before the deadline. There were told about the ban 10 hours before the ceremony.
But the 18-year-old's mom, Gillian Marksberry, believes her son wasn't allowed to speak at the graduation because of his sexual orientation.
Bales is gay and dresses up in women's clothes and makeup. Marksberry told the press that school principal Mike Holtz actually called her a week before the event to make sure that Bales dressed appropriately for the graduation.
The valedictorian said that he doesn't know if this was the real reason for banning his speech. He explained that Catholicism teaches "about love and tolerance and acceptance of all people."
Meanwhile, Bales was still able to deliver his speech at the Connor Convocation Center. He used a megaphone so that his supporters and friends could hear him well.
A copy of Bales' speech was also uploaded to Google Docs.