TICKER: High school graduate denied her certificate because she said “hell”

Oklahoma’s Prague High School takes its curse words very seriously. The school is holding back their valedictorian’s diploma because the teen uttered the word “hell” during her speech at the school’s commencement ceremony.

Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated from Prague High School and was awarded the title of valedictorian and the honor of delivering a speech at the school’s graduation. Reportedly inspired by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Nootbaar wanted to use her public platform to discuss the uncertainty facing a graduating senior. According to her father who spoke to the local news outlet, “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.’” However, in the draft of the speech Nootbaar handed in to her school, she substituted the word “heck” for “hell.” When delivering the speech, she uttered “hell” instead, the audience applauded, but the school’s principal was not pleased.

Now the school wants a written apology from the young woman for saying h-e-double-hockey-sticks at an official school event before they will release her diploma. Understandably, her father is unhappy with the school’s position. “She earned that diploma. She completed all the state curriculum,” David Nootbaar told KFOR-TV news. “In four years she has never made a B. She got straight A’s and had a 4.0 the whole way through.” School officials declined to comment. “This matter is confidential and we cannot publicly say anything about it,” Prague schools Superintendent Rick Martin said in a statement to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City.

- TIME


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