Monday, August 20, 2012

Aww Heck...

School withholds valedictorian’s diploma for saying “hell”

Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated from Prague High School, the Red Devils, in May and was named valedictorian.

When tasked with writing the graduation speech, her dad said she got her inspiration from the movie “Eclipse: The Twilight Saga.”
OK, so she has bad taste.  There are lots of smart people with bad taste; in fact, it may be a majority.
Nootbaar said, “Her quote was, ‘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.’”

He said in the written script she gave to the school she wrote “heck,” but in the moment she said “hell” instead.

Nootbaar said the audience laughed, she finished her speech to warm applause and didn’t know there was a problem.
Yep, laughter was the correct response.
That was until she went to pick up the real certificate this week.

“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.
Now reporters write as badly worse than I do.
“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.
They've decided she has to give them a written apology before they will give her the diploma.  I hope her dad has a sharp lawyer demanding that they show him where they have the right to deny a diploma based on a single alleged swear word.  Or are they arguing that this violates the "keep God and the Devil" out schools rules?  Either way it seems quite severe.

On the other hand, graduation marks one of those transitions to adulthood; maybe this is the time to learn that an insincere apology is sometimes a lot easier than insisting on a firmly held triviality.

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