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Christian Bales, a gay valedictorian who was banned from speaking at his graduation at a school in the same community as Covington Catholic, has said that he isn't surprised by the scandal surrounding the 'MAGA hat boys'.

In May 2018, Bales was denied the right to talk at his graduation from Holy Cross High School in Covington, Kentucky, because his speech was deemed too political by the local diocese.

This didn't stop him as he and his student council president delivered their speeches via a megaphone on the front lawn of the school to a crowd of students and parents, which ended up going viral.

Now, less than a year later, Bales has admitted that he isn't shocked that the city of Covington has become the focus of international attention following footage of students harassing a Native American protester at the Indigenous People's March at the weekend in Washington DC.

Speaking to NBC News, Bales, now a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Louisville, said:

I was not surprised at all.

It was only a matter of time that something this school community did would blow up to this degree, and I think they need to be held accountable.

He added that Covington Catholic was "notorious for being a not-well disciplined school" but was highly critical of the of the Diocese of Covington which he branded as "archaic".

They have the very last say in everything about students in the diocese.

Bales claims that he and the student council president are still yet to receive thorough explanations about why their speeches were banned last year.

The diocese has since said that the speeches were not submitted on time and were not in-line with the "teaching of the Catholic Church".

However, the diocese has responded to the 'MAGA hat kids' and have held a 'vigil for peace and against racism' at the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Covington just three days after the video went viral.

A spokesperson for the Covington diocese told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Tuesday:

This is a very serious matter that has already permanently altered the lives of many people.

It is important for us to gather the facts that will allow us to determine what corrective actions, if any, are appropriate.

At the time of writing the Covington Catholic, Covington Latin and Diocese of Covington are closed amidst the backlash to the video. The Diocese was unavailable to contact but a statement has been released on their website.

On Monday afternoon the Covington Police alerted us that they had intelligence concerning a planned protest, Jan. 22, at Covington Catholic High School and a vigil at the Diocesan Curia. Due to threats of violence and the possibility of large crowds the Diocese was advised to close Covington Catholic High School, the Diocesan Curia and neighbouring Covington Latin School. We thank law enforcement officers for their protection and will reopen when they say it is safe to do so. 

Concerning the incident in Washington, D.C., between Covington Catholic students, Elder Nathan Phillips and Black Hebrew Israelites the independent, third-party investigation is planned to begin this week. This is a very serious matter that has already permanently altered the lives of many people. It is important for us to gather the facts that will allow us to determine what corrective actions, if any, are appropriate. 

We pray that we may come to the truth and that this unfortunate situation may be resolved peacefully and amicably and ask others to join us in this prayer. 

We will have no further statements until the investigation is complete.

HT NBC News

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