The Lookout

High school valedictorian denied diploma over graduation speech

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Lookout

An Oklahoma high school valedictorian who used the word "hell" in her graduation speech in May has yet to receive her diploma.

Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated from Prague High School with a 4.0 grade point average, her father, David Nootbaar, told KFOR-TV. But school administrators told him that Kaitlin would have to submit a written apology in order to get her diploma.

"We went to the office and asked for the diploma and the principal said, 'Your diploma is right here but you ain't getting it. Close the door, we have a problem,'" David Nootbaar told the network.

"She worked so hard to stay at the top of her class," he said. "This is not right."

In her speech—inspired by a similar address in "Eclipse: The Twilight Saga"—Kaitlin recounted how annoying it is to be constantly asked what she wants to do as graduation approached. "How the hell do I know?" she said, according to her father. "I've changed my mind so many times."

In the version she submitted to the school for approval, "hell" was "heck." But in the version she delivered at graduation, "hell" it was.

The school 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.

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