Evan Young, an 18-year-old student at Twin Peaks Charter Academy high school, was elected valedictorian. But shortly before his speech, Evan and his parents found out the school intended to skip it.
The school had intended to skip recognition of Evan's accomplishments through school as well; they didn't just skip Evan's speech, they skipped Evan all together.
Before the ceremony, the school's principal, Buchmann, had asked Young to make a handful of edits, including removing the part where he intended to come out as gay. “One of my themes is that I was going to tell everyone my secrets,” Young told Daily Camera. “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.”
Young's principal, tense because of the content of the speech, called Young's parents. "Mr. Buchmann called me and said, ‘I’ve got Evan’s speech here. There are two things in it that I don’t think are appropriate.’ One was he had mentioned another student’s name. And then there was his coming out that he was gay," says Evan's father.
Buchmann had outed Evan to his parents; they had no idea of his sexuality.
"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," Evan said of the incident.
The school released an official statement saying, “The initial draft of the student’s speech submitted for review was condescending toward the school and the student’s peers and included, among other things, ridiculing comments about faculty and students. The draft speech also included references to personal matters of a sexual nature. None of these topics are ever appropriate for a speech at a graduation ceremony,”
Young was finally able to bring his story forward this past Sunday at a fundraiser for Out Boulder, a gay rights group.
"Oh, it was amazing. I had a- I was very nervous, actually," Evan said of reading his speech as he meant it to be heard.
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