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Taking Away An Earned Award Is Cruel Punishment

A student’s graduation day is one that they will always remember. Whether it is a graduation from elementary school, middle school, high school, or college, each represents a milestone in a person’s life. This is one day that is planned for with hard work, determination, diligence, and a competitive spirit. A high school graduation is a student’s right of passage. They blossom into adulthood, with their future opening up for them. One major high point of this event is to be told that you are the class valedictorian. You get the opportunity to make a speech during the graduation ceremony. Then, all of a sudden, that privilege is yanked away from you.

This happened to Christian Bales of Holy Cross High School in Kentucky. He was banned from speaking at his graduation ceremony just days prior to the celebration. He was informed by the Principal of the school that the Roman Catholic Diocese did not approve of his speech. They deemed it inappropriate. Their reasons for denying him his honor were not apparent in his speech, which was published on a google document, and on twitter. It made no reference to his sexual preference, anything political, or anything confrontational. Your text to link… Bales thinks the real reason was because he was gender non conforming.

During his tenure at Holy Cross, Christian has dressed in feminine attire, and even wore makeup. If he was accepted at the school as gender non specific, he should have been allowed to appear in front of his peers, his classmates, and make his valedictorian speech. The Roman Catholic Diocese evidently saw nothing wrong that would be reason for him to be put out of the school. By the same standard, he should have been given more consideration about him standing in his cap and gown, facing his public, and giving a suitable speech. This was a cruel punishment for someone who has been allowed to express himself for as many years as he had attended the school.

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