A Colorado charter high school is under fire for refusing to allow its senior class valedictorian to deliver his speech, after outing him to his parents.
Graduation time can be stressful, exciting, frightening, and exhilaratingÂ â€“ often all at once. It is a time of acknowledgingÂ successes, and looking to the future. For valedictorians â€“Â those who achieved greatness and are chosen to represent the graduating class â€“Â it hopefully is a time for sharing words of wisdom and leaving a personal stamp on fellow classmates and the institution.
But not for 18-year old Evan Young.
Young was chosen to be the valedictorianÂ of his charter high schoolÂ graduating class in part for his impressive 4.5 GPA. He’s headed to Rutgers University on a scholarship, but for administrators atÂ Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School in Longmont, Colorado, that wasn’t sufficient to allow Young to deliver his prepared remarks as valedictorian.
Young submitted his speech, but PrincipalÂ BJ Buchmann reportedly censored it. Ultimately, Buchmann refused to allow Young to deliver his speech, and called his parents. Why? Evan Young is gay.
“One of my themes is that I was going to tell everyone my secrets,” Young told Daily Camera about his speech. “Most of the things were stupid stuff â€” books I never read that I was supposed to, or homework I didn’t like. But then I gradually worked up to serious secrets.”
He says he planned to come out during his speech.
“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.”
Makes sense, and certainly not the first time a valedictorian has used his address to come out.
Principal Buchmann called Evan’s father and outed him.
“Mr. Buchmann called me and said, ‘I’ve got Evan’s speech here. There’s two things in it that I don’t think are appropriate,'” Don Young says. “One was he had mentioned another student’s name. And then there was his coming out that he was gay.”
Evan’s parents confirmed they did not know he’s gay.
“My parents are very liberal. I think they were totally OK with it,” Evan Young. “But I was not OK with it.”
Twin Peaks Charter Academy says Young’s decision to come out during his speech was just part of the reason they pulled him from the program and refused to allow him to speak. They claim Young “failed to follow guidelines of the evening by removing the sleeves of his graduation gown,” among other issues, but acknowledge the coming out during graduation was not acceptable to them.
School attorney, Barry Arrington in a statement says, “everyone knows that in our society high school graduation is one of life’s most significant occasions, and a graduation ceremony is a time for family and those closest to the students to celebrate success and express mutual wishes of gratitude and respect. It is not a time for a student to use his commencement speech to push his personal agenda on a captive audience, and school officials are well within their rights to prevent that from happening.”
Not a time to push his personal agenda on a captive audience?
That’s exactly what speakers do at graduation ceremonies.
Jeb Bush just weeks ago deliveredÂ the keynote address at Liberty University’s graduation ceremony. Did he notÂ push his personal agenda on a captive audience?
EarlierÂ this month,Â Michelle Obama spoke during Tuskegee Universityâ€™s commencement.Â Did she notÂ push her personal agenda on a captive audience?
Former President George W. Bush recently deliveredÂ the address to graduates at Southern Methodist University.Â Did he notÂ push his personal agenda on a captive audience?
The very idea that speeches during graduations are not forÂ pushing a personal agenda on a captive audience is ludicrous.
And outing a student to their parents is an extremely dangerous violation of trust.
Image via Wikimedia
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Bombshell WSJ Report: Trump Pressured DOJ Attorneys to Sue States in the Supreme Court to Overturn Election
President Donald Trump pressured U.S. Department of Justice attorneys, possibly including former Attorney General Bill Barr, to file a lawsuit against four U.S. states in the U.S. Supreme Court, in one of his final attempts to overturn the election before leaving office.
The Wall Street Journal reports late Saturday night that effort “failed due to pushback from his own appointees in the Justice Department, who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court.”
The Journal also confirms Friday night’s New York Times reporting that Trump attempted to remove his own acting Attorney General, Jeffrey Rosen, after Barr left the DOJ just two days before Christmas.
According to the Journal, “senior department officials threatened to resign en masse should Mr. Trump fire then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, according to several people familiar with the discussions.”
“Senior department officials, including Mr. Rosen, former Attorney General William Barr and former acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall refused to file the Supreme Court case, concluding that there was no basis to challenge the election outcome and that the federal government had no legal interest in whether Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden won the presidency,” the paper adds.
The paper does not specify the exact timeframe of when Trump tried to force DOJ to file the lawsuit, but based on its report it had to have been after December 11, when the Supreme Court dismissed what most election law attorneys considered a frivolous suit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with other Republican state attorneys general.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Says “Everyone” Is to Blame for Capitol Riots
While Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has previously said that he thinks former President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the January 6 coup attempt in which his supporters ransacked the Capitol to overturn the election that he and Republicans baselessly claimed was stolen, McCarthy added in a Thursday interview, “I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility [for the coup attempt.]”
McCarthy then said that anti-Trump Democrats, rude social media users, unprepared law enforcement authorities were all responsible too, even though Trump literally told his followers on the morning of January 6 to march to the Capitol and fight to stop legislators from approving the election victory of now-President Joe Biden.
“I think this is what we have to get to the bottom of, and when you start talking about who has responsibilities,” McCarthy said. “I think there’s going to be a lot more questions, a lot more answers we have to have in the coming future.”
It’s especially telling that his Senate counterpart, now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has directly blamed Trump for the riots.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said Wednesday. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
After months of making baseless claims that a national conspiracy of widespread voter fraud stole the election from him, a claim laughed out of courts 60 times over for lack of evidence by judges that Trump himself appointed, Trump held a “Stop the Steal” rally on the morning of January 6 in which he said, that he won the election “by a landslide” and encouraged his followers to “stop the steal” by going to the Capitol. If people don’t “fight like hell,” Trump said, “you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Russia Explodes with Protests Against Putin Poisoning and Jailing His Biggest Opponent
Russian citizens in 38 cities are protesting the country’s sham elections in which Russian President Vladimir Putin has felt so threatened by the opposition candidate, anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, that he has had him imprisoned and poisoned in an attempt to silence his voice and kill his movement.
The Russian presidential elections are a complete sham used to legitimate Putin’s power. In the last election, Putin “won” nearly 77 percent of the vote amid claims of ballot stuffing, the Kremlin choosing which candidates get to run, police arresting any anti-Putin protesters and pro-Putin candidates receiving far more financial backing than his opponents.
Navalny himself, a popular anti-corruption campaigner who is one of Putin’s most outspoken critics, according to The Week, has previously been barred from running due to a trumped-up and controversial fraud conviction allegedly masterminded by Putin. In August 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent called Novichok and survived his hospitalization. Navalny has said he got a Russian federal agent to reveal how he was poisoned, though the Kremlin has denied any involvement.
Three days ago, Navalny was jailed once more for allegedly violating his parole. He now inhabits Matrosskaya Tishina or Sailor’s Silence, a jail in Moscow’s north-east region that has housed high-ranking prisoners that authorities have wanted to cut off from the outside world since the Soviet era, according to Reuters. The jail is notoriously deadly.
Russian citizens across the nation have seemingly had enough and have begun protesting his imprisonment, as the videos below attest. Hundreds have been arrested as police fight to maintain control.
The U.S. Embassy in Russia has weighed in by saying, “We’re watching reports of protests in 38 Russian cities, arrests of 350+ peaceful protesters and journalists. The U.S. supports the right of all people to peaceful protest, freedom of expression. Steps being taken by Russian authorities are suppressing those rights.”
Putin can’t rob the Russian people of hundreds of billions of dollars over twenty years and expect to get away with it. This is the reaction of the Russian people, chanting “Putin vor” which means “Putin thief”. It’s happening all over Russia right now. https://t.co/UhVSdWVeBX
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) January 23, 2021
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) January 23, 2021
Сейчас в центре Петербурга pic.twitter.com/F0piyWGyRZ
— Дождь (@tvrain) January 23, 2021
Images from Russia today are transfixing: thousands all across the country defying authorities and protesting for @navalny’s release. So brave.
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) January 23, 2021
I’m just hoping against all hope this guy somehow independently came up with this outfit. https://t.co/VBKuZxhOHq
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 23, 2021
US embassy in Russia weighs in. https://t.co/99OJgKSXS1
— Bianna Golodryga (@biannagolodryga) January 23, 2021
Protests are taking place across Russia today, calling for Navalny’s release.
This is Vladivostok, in the country’s Far East pic.twitter.com/luO4oudeH9
— Matthew Luxmoore (@mjluxmoore) January 23, 2021
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) January 23, 2021
— Jake Rudnitsky (@Rudnit) January 23, 2021
BREAKING: Clashes between riot police and Alexei Navalny supporters / protestors in Yekaterinburg, Russia. – #Protests
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) January 23, 2021
— Global News (@GlbBreakNews) January 23, 2021
Иркутск: «Мы не уйдём!» pic.twitter.com/9HIsGgXAcp
— Борис Золотаревский (@ZolotorevskiyB) January 23, 2021
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