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Catholic H.S.: Gay Student Can't Accept Matthew Shepard Scholarship on Stage

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Catholic H.S.: Gay Student Can't Accept Matthew Shepard Scholarship on Stage

BY Michelle Garcia

May 08 2012 1:36 PM ET

A gay high school senior was told that he cannot formally accept the Matthew Shepard Scholarship at his Catholic school's annual awards ceremony, despite being encouraged to apply for the award from school administrators. 

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 A gay Iowa teenager has been told that he cannot receive the Matthew Shepard Scholarship at his Catholic school's annual awards ceremony.

Prince of Peace Catholic school senior Keaton Fuller was initially told that he could accept the scholarship at his school's awards ceremony on May 20. According to the Eychaner Foundation of Des Moines, Iowa, which granted the scholarship, Fuller even learned of the scholarship from his school, and the principal issued a statement to notify the scholarship committee that he could accept the award at the ceremony.

But weeks later, the opportunity to formally accept the scholarship at his high school has been revoked after pressure from the local Catholic diocese. "It is difficult to understand how after I have spent 13 years at this school and worked hard during all of them, I would be made to feel that my accomplishments are less than everybody else’s," Fuller wrote in a letter to the student body and staff. "This whole ordeal has been incredibly hurtful, and I am even sadder that this will be one of my last experiences to remember my high school years by."

The Matthew Shepard Scholarship grants $40,000 to an openly LGBT student attending the University of Iowa the following fall. Fuller won the scholarship based on his academic work, as well as his work to reduce homophobia at school and in his community.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 4,000 people have signed a Change.org petition supporting Fuller and asking the school's principal, Superintendent Leland Morrision, and Bishop Martin J. Amos to have a change of heart.

by on May. 8, 2012 at 2:51 PM
Replies (51-55):
Ashtonsmommy21
by on May. 9, 2012 at 3:06 AM
Poor guy :( this makes me so sad. It's not fair no matter if it is a catholic school or not. But life isn't fair which sucks.
12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on May. 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM


Quoting foxfroggy:

Here's what I wrote when I signed the petition:

Shame on this school and diocese. Jesus' command to love one another had no "except" and John 3:16 has no asterisk. He worked hard for his scholarship and probably face a lot of hate speech those 13 years excused as religious dogma and deserves recognition like any other scholarship winner. It was bigotry like this that grew into the evil that took Matthew Shepard's life. 

Please provide evidence of your claim?  The student has stated he was accepted and supported by classmates and staff.  The school is recognizing his accomplishment in a way that is in line with their teachings and policies.  The only hate speech I am seeing is coming from those who are not willing to show tolerance towards the Church teachings.  I would also consider unjustified claims as a form of hate speech...

12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on May. 9, 2012 at 10:13 AM


Quoting Amyinthesky:

He is a kid, let him go on stage like everyone else and accept recognition for his accomplishments. No matter what your beliefs are they can give him that.This is no longer a religion/political debate it is something that will impact someone else's life. Leave him be.


Sorry but this is no different then how public school do not allow students to acknowledge their faith in various ways at graduation ceremonies.  Students who have been chosen as Valedictorian have been prevented from acknowledging their faith in speeches.  I have also seen where parents have not been able to write messages referencing scripture in various ways involving public schools. 

Sisteract
by Whoopie on May. 9, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Everyone now knows he has received the scholarship...he still has the money.

Huey on the rest-

Amyinthesky
by on May. 9, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Bull I went to a public school and the line is smudged at graduation. They have ecumenical services to celebrate graduation where students can go up and give a speech. Put the religion a way for a night as I said it is about the students at least for that day.

Quoting 12hellokitty:


Quoting Amyinthesky:

He is a kid, let him go on stage like everyone else and accept recognition for his accomplishments. No matter what your beliefs are they can give him that.This is no longer a religion/political debate it is something that will impact someone else's life. Leave him be.


Sorry but this is no different then how public school do not allow students to acknowledge their faith in various ways at graduation ceremonies.  Students who have been chosen as Valedictorian have been prevented from acknowledging their faith in speeches.  I have also seen where parents have not been able to write messages referencing scripture in various ways involving public schools. 


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