Maybe my stint in the Marine Corps has warped my perspective on what constitutes bad language. But I found the story of an Oklahoma high-school valedictorian whose diploma was withheld by the school principal because the girl “cursed” absolutely outrageous.
Kaitlin Nootbaar, 18, was giving a speech to the Prague, OK, high school class of 2012 and talked about the difficulty she was having setting on a career choice. “How the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many time,” she said.
According to her father, Kaitlin(who graduated with a 4.0 average) was referencing the book, Eclipse–volume three in The Twilight Saga series. In the movie, there’s a scene that takes place at a high school graduation, and one of the characters–also talking about career choices says this:
“When we were five, they asked us what we we, theranted to be when we grew up. Our answers were things like astronaut, president, or in my case, a princess. When we were ten, they asked us again and we answered – rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medalist. But now that we’ve grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how ’bout this: who the hell knows? This isn’t the time to make hard and fast decisions, this is the time to make mistakes.
As the father of two college students, I think that remark is dead on. And given how popular the Twilight movies and books have been, I guarantee that Kaitlin’s classmates got the reference.
So the question is this: What the hell is the matter with the school administrators? Why are they so out of touch with popular culture that they didn’t catch the literary reference?
- High School Valedictorian Won’t Get Diploma Until She Apologizes for Saying ‘Hell’ (people.com)
- Kaitlin Nootbaar, Oklahoma High School Valedictorian, Denied Diploma For Using ‘Hell’ In Speech (huffingtonpost.com)
- Oklahoma valedictorian denied high school diploma after ‘cursing’ during speech (news.nationalpost.com)
- HS grad denied diploma over speech (kshb.com)
- What the heck? ‘Cursing’ valedictorian reportedly denied diploma (thestar.com)
- No Diploma for High School Valedictorian (foxcharlotte.com)
- High school valedictorian denied diploma over graduation speech (news.yahoo.com)
- Controversy over valedictorian speech goes viral (kfor.com)
- Diploma Dilemma: Valedictorian appears on The Today Show (kfor.com)