This 'Religious' High School Barred Gay Valedictorian From Giving Speech

  • by: Jacob Geers
  • recipient: Executive Director Paul Gnan

Nat Werth had accomplished something truly impressive. After four hard, grinding years in high school, he emerged as the first in his class at Sheboygan Lutheran High School. He was driven to academic success, in part, to stay focused on a major goal as he processed his sexuality.

Now, as traditional, he had to put together a speech for the graduation ceremony.

As Werth thought about what he wanted to say, he cobbled together an unvarnished first draft where he came out as gay and discussed how that impacted his religious faith. He shared the draft with the school knowing he might need to make edits, but the school's reaction was more extreme than anyone could have anticipated.

The minute that the school figured out he was gay, there was no going back. They no longer trusted him to be able to give a graduation speech. Werth was officially barred from giving the speech at graduation, and the honor was instead given to the salutatorian — the second highest ranked student in the class.

Tell Sheboygan Lutheran High School that this reaction is completely unacceptable, and demand a full apology to Nat Werth and a pledge to change their policy.

Will you stand up against this bullying high school and demand they apologize AND change their policies to be inclusive to LGBTQ+ students? We need to get a groundswell of signatures on this petition to show the school that their reaction was UNACCEPTABLE.

Will you sign today?

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