Update: In 2019, Christian Bales was one of seven recipients of the First Amendment Award presented each year by the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation. Bales was honored along with other recipients at a gala on May 15, 2019 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The award recognize individuals who protect and enhance First Amendment rights for all Americans.
Christian Bales was the valedictorian of his class at Holy Cross High School in Crestview, Kentucky—the exact type of student the school should be celebrating.
Christian prepared a speech for his class’ graduation ceremony that was centered around the mantra of the student leaders of A March for Our Lives: “The young people will win.” Christian praised the students for advocating for “our rights to feel secure as humans.” Christian never explicitly mentioned gun control, but it was clear he supported the policy agenda of the March for Our Lives students.
In the speech, Christian encouraged and empowered his fellow students to become just as active as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students. “Rather than gauging victory by what we accomplish on paper, we must gauge victory by the amount of hearts we can cleanse,” he wrote.
Principal Mike Holtz, however, had diffrent plans for his valedictorian. First, he called Christian’s mother and told her he didn’t want Christian wearing girl’s clothes, make-up, or bobby pins in his hair during his speech (Christian is openly gay). Then he canceled Christian’s speech outright, telling him it was “too confrontational, too angry, too personal, and [inappropriate] for the setting.” Christian was also told his speech did not reflect Catholic ideals.
Christian was devastated, but he didn’t let it defeat him. He took to the school’s lawn on graduation day with a megaphone and gave his speech anyway.
Please take one or more of the following actions:
1) Read Christian’s graduation speech. It is beautiful:
2) Contact Holy Cross H.S. principal Mike Holtz through one of the channels below and give him the following message (personalized to your liking):
I am absolutely disgusted at the way you treated your senior class valedictorian, Christian Bales. This is a young man that you should be celebrating and holding up as an example of the leaders your school is capable of producing. Instead, in your ignorance and fear, you have shunned him and taken from him what should have been one of his finest moments; a moment he EARNED through hard work. And why? Because he wanted to cite the mantra of the students from Marjory Douglas Stoneman H.S. in his speech? [What’s wrong with young people taking the lead to protect their lives when adults won’t?] Because he stated that sometimes young Americans can have better judgment than adults? Because he is openly gay and dresses in a way that makes YOU uncomfortable? Shame on you for what you’ve done to this talented young man. He deserved far better from the leadership at Holy Cross. You’re not promoting “Catholic values.” You’re promoting intolerance and ignorance. Don’t use Jesus Christ as a shield for your own personal failings.
Holy Cross High School Prinicipal Mike Holtz
Phone: (859) 431-1335
Once you have contacted Principal Holtz, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!