Valedictorian's Diploma Denied For Using 'Hell' In Speech

By: ABC News
By: ABC News

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An Oklahoma graduate has been denied a diploma over a four-letter word.

Kaitlin Nootbaar, 18, was the Valedictorian of Prague High School. But the school district is withholding her diploma over a speech during commencement.

Nootbaar said she quoted the movie “The Twilight Saga: The Eclipse” in her speech. She said she was sharing with the audience about changing her mind about her future career.

“They ask us now what we want to be and we say ‘Who the hell knows?’” Nootbar said.

Her principal, David Smith, said her words crossed the line.

David Nootbaar, said his daughter will only receive her diploma if she writes an apology. He said his daughter asked for her diploma after graduation. But the principal refused.

“He told her, ‘You and I have a problem,’” David Nootbaar said of the principal. “He said, ‘Here’s your diploma, but you can’t have it.’”

Rick Martin, district superintendent, released a statement saying the principal's request for an apology was reasonable.


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