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?
Dad of three, best-selling author, speaker, nationally syndicated columnist and radio host, Marine Corps vet, spokesperson, and, generally speaking, a pretty nice guy.
- 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)