A Catholic School Banned The Valedictorian From Giving His Speech. So He Gave It Anyway.

"The young people will win"

A Catholic high school in Kentucky allegedly banned the valedictorian and student council president from delivering their speeches at graduation because they were too political. 

Holy Cross High School's valedictorian Christian Bales and student council president Katherine Frantz have a reputation of being outspoken. 

"The [student council] president is my best friend, and we have been two huge advocates for social reform in our community, which has likely put us on the radar for the diocese," Bales told WCPO News. 


Holy Cross High School reportedly told the students 10 hours before graduation that they would not be able speak at the ceremony.

Tim Fitzgerald, a spokesman for the Diocese of Covington, said in a statement: "When the proposed speeches were received, they were found to contain elements that were political and inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church." 

The school's "no" did not stop the students from having their voices heard. Following the graduation, the duo picked up a bullhorn and shared their speeches right outside of the venue while surrounded by friends and family: a scenario that Bales described to The New York Times as "empowering."

Gillian Marksberry, Bales' mother, told ABC News that the school's decision was "shocking." "We don't want to be vindictive, we don't want to be vengeful," Marksberry told the network. "That's not what this is about. He's earned the right to have a voice."

Part of Bales' speech reads as follows: "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."

Bales continued: "Rather than allowing the opposition to silence us, we must utilize it as empowering. As long as we nurture our minds as youth, we'll be able to be equally impactful as we encounter the world.

He ended by saying, "We must take what we've learned in this community and apply it to the world we are about to encounter. We are the young people, and we will continue to win."

Cover image via Shutterstock / Nirat.pix.


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