Colorado school that blocked coming out speech didn’t discriminate, lawyer says

By : Wire Report
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LONGMONT, Colo. – A U.S. school did not discriminate by blocking a graduation speech by a top student who wanted to disclose that he is gay, according to an outside attorney hired by the school to investigate the decision.

School valedictorian Evan Young, 18, was prevented this spring from giving a graduation speech in which he planned to out himself as gay. The decision by Twin Peaks Charter Academy in Colorado state raised the ire of gay rights activists.

The principal who blocked the speech has since left the school for another job. But the school’s lawyer, William Bethke, concluded that the address was blocked because the valedictorian didn’t communicate with school administrators and his parents and used inappropriate humor in it, not because the student is gay.

The attorney’s conclusion is expected to be reviewed next month by a regional school board, according to a local media report.

The Twin Peaks board defended the school’s decision, saying that the principal “exercised lawful editorial control by rejecting a speech that was designed to embarrass, mock and ridicule those in the commencement audience.”

“The efforts of organizations to twist this situation into a politically polarizing gay and lesbian issue are shameless,” the board wrote. “To promote the protection of one person, and yet remain silent on premeditated plans to embarrass members of the audience, reveals their intention to use this situation to push their own political agendas.”

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