High School Principal Will Not Have Graduation Sullied With Gay Valedictorian, No Siree!
So here is a story that happened, about an asshole high school principal in Longmont, Colorado, who couldn't bear to let this year's class valedictorian -- that means "the best student in the class," FYI -- deliver his speech, because the kid wanted to use the speech to come out as gay. The kid's name is Evan Young, he's graduating with a 4.5 GPA, and he's headed to Rutgers on a scholarship. Sounds like a REAL BAD SEED, we're glad the principal was able to get him under control:
Young said he had agreed to several advance edits to his speech by school Principal BJ Buchmann. But he resisted when Buchmann told him to also take out his disclosure of being gay.
"One of my themes is that I was going to tell everyone my secrets," Young explained Thursday. "Most of the things were stupid stuff — books I never read that I was supposed to, or homework I didn't like. But then I gradually worked up to serious secrets.
"My main theme is that you're supposed to be respectful of people, even if you don't agree with them. I figured my gayness would be a very good way to address that."
How about that? Being respectful of differences, living with integrity? Surely these are concepts the Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School could get behind. But nah, Principal Buchmann decided it would be better to tell Evan Young, at his graduation, that he wasn't allowed to speak, and oh by the way, he doesn't get to be valedictorian anymore. Buchmann also thought it would be a great idea to call Young's parents to tell them how gay their kid is, which they did not know because Evan Young had not come out to his parents yet. He says that his parents are super-liberal and everything's fine, but the principal did not know that! Outing a kid to parents hostile to that sort of news can be very dangerous, so Principal Buchmann isn't just an asshole, he's a child-endangering asshole.
About his principal's shitty behavior, Young says:
I think what it mainly showed is that he didn't have a lot of sympathy for me, or someone in my position. He didn't understand how personal a thing it was, and that I wasn't just going to share it with people randomly, for no reason. I thought it was very inconsiderate for him to do something like that, especially without asking me first.
Yeah, you think?
But this story has a happy ending! As Amy Goodman reports at Democracy Now!, Evan Young ended up delivering his speech after all, to a much larger audience at a fundraiser for Out Boulder, an LGBT group that stepped in to help with Young's situation. We know videos are Long And Stuff, but we wholeheartedly encourage you to watch this exemplary kid's speech. It's funny and heartwarming, and he even makes a zinger about dumb old Hillary Clinton. He also encourages people to see past their differences and tells Mel Gibson to hug a Jew.
Any high school should be thrilled to have this kid as its valedictorian. When you're done watching, share it with your Facebooks and your Twitters and your Bible studies and your competitive LARPing groups, so that the WHOLE WORLD may see it: