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This Valedictorian Gave His Speech Via Bullhorn When He Couldn’t Give It on Stage

This Valedictorian Gave His Speech Via Bullhorn When He Couldn’t Give It on Stage

After a high school valedictorian from Covington, Kentucky was told that he wouldn’t be permitted to share his speech with fellow graduates the student found an ingenious way of making a statement.

As reported by ABC News, high school senior Christian Bales was not permitted to share his graduation address with Holy Cross High School students during their graduation ceremony. In a statement to ABC, Tim Fitzgerald a spokesperson for the Diocese of Covington confirmed the decision, stating: “When the proposed speeches were received, they were found to contain elements that were political and inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church.” He also told ABC that Christian had missed a submission deadline that enabled school administrators to look over the speech.

Christian’s classmate and student council president Katherine Frantz was also denied the opportunity to speak, WPCO reported. She too had missed the reported submission deadline, the Diocese spokesperson said.

In an interview with WCPO-TV, Christian’s mother Gillian Marksberry said the school’s decision had come “out-of-the-blue.” She said the family was notified by phone on the morning of graduation.

The graduate didn’t let that stop him though, and took to the lawn outside of where graduation was being held, a bullhorn in hand. In video of his address, the student used his time to address the recent gun violence in schools, saying: “‘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. 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.” He went on to encourage his fellow classmates to use their voice, saying: “Rather than allowing opposition to silence us, we must utilize it as empowerment. As long as we nurture our minds as youth, we’ll be able to be equally impactful as we encounter the world.”

He also touched on the power of his classmates. “‘The young people will win’ because we’re finished being complacent,” he continued. “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.”

In an interview with WCPO, Christian speculated that the school’s decision had to due with his support of “social reform” and believed his past work, including his support for the removal of a statue honoring Jefferson Davidson from a Kentucky government building had put him “on the radar for the diocese.”

Teen Vogue has reached out to Christian and Holy Cross High School for comment.

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