High School Valedictorian Denied Diploma for Saying “Hell” in Speech – Who’s the Bigger Jerk [POLL]
It's another edition of "You Be The Judge!"
In this edition, a little story that comes out of the state that gave us such luminaries as Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, and Garth Brooks.
So you “might could” see how using the word “hell” might get one’s panties in a wad.
Class valedictorian Kaitlin Nootbaar agreed to give the speech quoting a line from the movie “Eclipse: The Twilight Saga.”
The line in question is as follows…”‘When she first started school she wanted to be a nurse, then a veterinarian and now that she was getting closer to graduation, people would ask her, what do you want to do and she said how the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times.’”
According to her dad, David, the written script she gave to school officials had the word “heck” where “hell” would have been; but when she delivered the speech, she decided to go with “hell” instead.
After getting some polite laughter, she didn’t think much of it until she went to get her diploma.
And that’s when all “hell” broke loose.
“We went to the office and asked for the diploma and the principal said, ‘Your diploma is right here but you’re not getting it. Close the door; we have a problem,’” Nootbaar said.
He said the principal told Kaitlin she would have to write an apology letter before he would release the diploma.
A move her dad believes is illegal.
“She earned that diploma. She completed all the state curriculum. In four years she has never made a B. She got straight A’s and had a 4.0 the whole way through.”
Kaitlin starts college in a few days on a full scholarship, making the administrators’ decision even more appalling to her family.
We tried to get the school’s side of the story.
Superintendent Dr. Rick Martin said in a statement, “This matter is confidential and we cannot publicly say anything about it.”
Kaitlin doesn’t plan on writing an apology letter because she doesn’t feel she did anything wrong.
Her family supports that choice.
Kaitlin sent KFOR-TV this statement Monday afternoon:
“First off, I would like to thank everyone who is backing me on this, especially my friends and family. And to those who don’t agree with me, that is fine also. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and is free to comment however they choose. It’s one of the great advantages of living in a free country. A country where we are free to speak. I would also like to note that I do not hate Prague. I have loved that town since I was a child. I don’t hate the school either, the teachers have always been great! I don’t feel that the whole town should suffer from the mistakes of few. Again, thanks:)”
You can see the full report here:
Here’s the deal as I see it: I admire her for standing up for what she thinks is right…and it does seem like school officials are being petty (especially since the school’s mascot is the RED DEVILS!)…BUT she did agree to deliver the speech as written. No “hell”…just “heck”. I know, freedom of speech and all that...but RULES are RULES! She agreed to the text of the speech as she'd written it.