FULLERTON (CBS) — A school official publicly apologized Wednesday for removing a gay student from a campus competition after the teen voiced his support for gay marriage.

During the annual Mr. Fullerton competition at Fullerton Union High School Tuesday, contestants were asked where they saw themselves in 10 years.

Student Kearian Giertz’s response caused some controversy.

“I said, ‘Hopefully, in 10 years time, I’ll be winning Emmys, Oscars and Tonys’ — just, you know, the typical answer — and, then, I added, ‘But, more importantly, I’d really, really like to sit on the couch with the person that I love and say I’m married to them. In my case, that would be a male. And, I hope that, in 10 years time, that would be legal,'” Giertz said.

(credit: CBS)

The school’s assistant principal, Joe Abell, interrupted Giertz’s speech, ushered him offstage and told him he was disqualified from the competition.

Some students said Abell’s actions were upsetting, and that they conflicted with the values of tolerance school officials encourage.

“Everyone has their right to freedom of expression and that was a right infringement right there,” said student Gabriel Nieto.

The official apologized to Giertz personally Wednesday and then got on the school’s public address system and issued an apology.

“I am truly and sincerely sorry. I made a mistake. I should have not addressed the issue in a public setting,” Abell said during his public apology.

“It’s one of those things that’s totally inappropriate,” said Barbara Kilponen, a member of the school’s Board of Trustees. “There was nothing that the youngster said that was provocative or taunting or anything he should be called on. It was a decent answer that would have satisfied anyone.”

Kilponen, however, said she was satisfied with the apology and thinks the issue should now be settled.

“He did it on the spur of the moment,” said Kilponen, who was pleased school officials quickly responded to the issue.

“I think the most important thing about any of these issues today is that you address them immediately,” Kilponen said. “Address it immediately and make a judgment that fits the situation. This is one of those 15 minutes of notoriety, but I don’t think (the assistant principal) will ever forget this.”

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (13)
  1. Bruiser says:

    More folks need to study their Bibles!!!

    1. Christina39 says:


    2. Alpha Kenny Juan says:

      Jesus-freak alert, Jesus-freak alert. Beep beep. (That’s the sound of a Jesus-freak alert. Beep beep.)

  2. johnwoods says:

    So you can go to heaven ,not hell and see jesus

    1. Alpha Kenny Juan says:

      You can go to your heaven on your own; keep it to yourself. Trust me, if I were stuck with you or with “Bruiser” anywhere for eternity, it wouldn’t be heavenly.

    2. Jeff says:

      Can I own slaves too? I know a person that owes me 500K and he can’t pay me back. The Bible and its apologists clearly sanction slavery for persons that owe debt and since the Bible does not change to the whim of the culture, slavery should just be fine. BTW the slave will be working at a diamond mine in Somalia, where there is no rule of law against slavery

  3. maxie says:

    That wasn’t an apology. He said he shouldn’t have “addressed the issue publicly.” There was no issue to address at all!

  4. Corruption says:

    Why would he have to issue an apology? Is there something wrong with someone believing in marriage between a man and a woman?

  5. I Go To This School.... says:

    Wow. Um I go to this school and i know the real story. Kearian wasn’t the only kid who got into trouble. All the other kids did because Mr. Fullerton is scripted and they didn’t follow their scripts. BTW, the scripts are the answers of the questions that the senior boys give so that they don’t cuss. Anyways, Kearian didn’t even give a script and he asked the people in charge to change his question at the last minute. Mr. Abell reacted quickly, sure, but he freaking apologized like a lot. Sure, it won’t change the past but it wasn’t like he expelled Kearian. Anyways I heard that after the daily annoucements, when he apologized, Mr. Abell left to his car and was crying. Like seriously bawling his eyes out. I could tell you more about what happened but yeah….but Kearian didn’t get disqualified because of the content of what he said (in fact that was pretty awesome what he said, everyone in the audience gave him a standing ovation) he and the other Mr. Fullerton students got in trouble for going off script, like this one guy who said his inspiration person was his daughter……mmkay bye.

  6. Chance LaRue says:

    I ambled you explained the what really happened. The devil is in the details and your version of events is far more p,a usable. Poor Mr.Abel! Tel him a support group for is treated educators gets under way in LA Sunday as 6pm my email is artsoldier13 @ yahoo.com god luck in life. You got they goods, kid, .

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