Oklahoma High School Valedictorian Kaitlin Nootbaar Denied Diploma for Saying “Hell” During Graduation Speech
A high school valedictorian in Oklahoma who graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade point average was denied her diploma because she said “hell” during her graduation speech.
“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,’” David Nootbaar, her father, said.
Although Nootbaar wrote “heck” in the copy of her speech she turned in to school officials, she said “hell” during the actual address.
The audience laughed and applauded warmly, but school officials apparently did not like what they heard.
When Nootbaar went to pick up her diploma last week, she was in for a big surprise.
“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,’” David Nootbaar told KFOR-TV.
The principal then informed Kaitlin that she would have to issue a written apology for saying “hell” before the school would give her the diploma.
Kaitlin does not plan on apologizing since she does not believe she did anything wrong. Her family stands behind her decision.
“She earned that diploma,” he father insists. “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 begins college on a full scholarship in a few days.
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