Thousands of signatures are being gathered to support a gay student at Clinton’s Prince Of Peace School over the presentation of a scholarship he won. Keaton Fuller won a $40,000 scholarship to the University of Iowa from the Eychaner Foundation.
The Matthew Shepard Scholarship honors students for their efforts working for the acceptance of the LGBT community and raising awareness and understanding. It is named for another teen who was beaten because of his sexual orientation and later died.
When Keaton applied for the scholarship, a teacher at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Clinton, Iowa signed a form acknowledging that a representative from Eychaner Foundation would be presenting the award to Keaton if he won.
But now that Keaton has been selected, the Diocese of Davenport says no. It won’t allow the foundation to present the award to Keaton at graduation. Instead, a member of the school staff will present the award.
The diocese explained the decision in a statement by Bishop Martin Amos. “We cannot allow any one or any organization which promotes a position that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church to present at a diocesan institution.”
The Prince of Peace student, in an open letter to students, staff and parents said the whole ordeal has been incredibly hurtful, and he feels invalidated. He hopes the support can change the decision. An on-line petition at change.org has gained over 3,500 signatures since being started Monday and there is also a Facebook page started in support of Fuller with over 1,200 supporters by this morning.
By Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton