Imagine this, you bust your ass for your entire academic life, you get to your high school graduation, you’re chosen as valedictorian, and then you’re denied your diploma. All because you said the word “hell” in your graduation speech. Pretty messed up, right?
An Oklahoma teen, Kaitlin Nootbaar, is currently facing that exact scenario. Back in May, while delivering her valedictorian speech, she was explaining how people had been asking her what she wanted to do with her life after graduation, to which she replied, “How the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times.” Now, the written script that she turned into the school had said “heck”, but she used the word “hell” in the moment. Kaitlin’s father said the valedictorian received laughter and applause from the crowd, but when she went to collect her diploma this past week, she was told she wouldn’t receive it until she wrote an apology for using the word.
Kaitlin is refusing to write an apology, stating that she rightfully earned the diploma through coursework, state exams, and extracurricular activities. Her father says that she has worked hard to stay in the top of her class, receiving straight A’s all throughout high school, and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Not only she Kaitlin earn the title of valedictorian, she also received a full scholarship to college.
I’m with Kaitlin on this one, I wouldn’t offer an apology. After all, it’s not like she told the school to go to hell or anything, though I wouldn’t blame her if she did that now.