Gay valedictorian barred by Lutheran school from delivering graduation speech

/ 04:55 PM June 05, 2019

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A high school valedictorian in Wisconsin, USA, was barred from delivering his graduation speech after he wrote about his struggles of being gay.

Nat Werth wrote about his struggles as a gay student in his speech and also critiqued parts in the Bible that were critical of homosexuality, as per The Sheboygan Press last May 30, prompting the Sheboygan Lutheran High school to remove the said parts from the draft of Werth’s speech.


Werth was willing to edit the draft of his speech, but was told by the school administration that he would no longer speak at his graduation on May 31.

“It was kind of difficult to watch (the salutatorian’s) speech without giving my own,” Werth was quoted as saying.


This is not the first time Werth has run into conflict with the school administration. As per the report, Werth was barred from joining the school’s dance team last year even though the coach approved of him. At the time, however, a female student was allowed to join the school’s football team.

Paul Gnan, the executive director of Werth’s high school, has refused to address their action of disallowing Werth’s graduation speech and his joining the dance team, citing confidentiality. He, however, said their school policies are based on principles from the Bible.

“There are policies in our handbook that talk about our faith and our belief system and what it’s based on,” Gnan said in the report.

Meanwhile, Werth, who is set to study entrepreneurship and innovation at Northeastern University in Boston, only has one hope: “I want to leave behind a school that won’t treat anyone the way I was treated.” Cody Cepeda /ra


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TAGS: Gender discrimination, Graduation, Homophobia, LGBTQ community, Sheboygan Lutheran High School
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