Just hours before Holy Cross High School’s commencement ceremony Friday night, graduating senior Christian Bales was told he wouldn’t be allowed to deliver his valedictorian speech as planned. But instead of letting his voice be stifled, Bales used a bullhorn to give his address after the event — and the moment was incredibly powerful.
According to ABC News, the local Catholic diocese had ruled Bales’ speech unsuitable for the occasion.
Student council president Katherine Frantz was also barred from delivering her speech, ABC News reported. She and Bales decided to find a pair of megaphones and speak on the lawn outside the venue.
Bales’ address lauded the Parkland survivors for their activism and encouraged his fellow students to live a life of advocacy.
Bales’ valedictorian speech went on to highlight the impact young people can have on the world.
Twitter users overwhelmingly supported Bales’ bravery in delivering his valedictorian speech despite the diocese’s opposition.
We couldn’t be prouder of Bales and all the other young people out there who are speaking truth to power.
Bales, an out gay student, will attend the University of Louisville in the fall and plans to major in biology. You can read his valedictorian speech in full here.