Thirteen years of hard work means less than a pseudo-curse word.

The Valedictorian of an Oklahoma high school is being denied her diploma.  What crime did she commit?  She had the unrestricted gall to utter a word with a universe of impropriety stuffed into a single, wretched syllable during her graduation speech: “hell.”

Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated from Oklahoma’s Prague High School back in May of this year and was named valedictorian.

In her graduating speech which was inspired by the film Eclipse: The Twilight Saga, she accidentally said the word “hell” instead of “heck”- a move which her father claims has cost her dearly.

“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 h*** do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times,” David Nootbaar told local TV station KFor.

The audience laughed and she was given a round of applause at the end of her speech. But when she went to pick up her high school diploma this week, she was told by the principal she will not get in until she writes a letter of apology.

Kaitlin has said she will not write an apology.

Kaitlin said she will not write the letter as she believes she didn’t do anything wrong, but she is due to start college in just a few days on a full scholarship.

The local school superintendent declined to comment on the matter which he said was “confidential”.

However Kaitlin, should you change your mind, I am somewhat of a writer and deal with administrations like this for a living.  I think it’s possible to convey the proper amount of contrition with wording that concedes an appropriate level of respect to your principal.  If it’s alright with you, I’d like to help write your apology letter.

Dear Principal of Prague High School,

Go to hell.  You’re lucky I have so many good memories of attending school at PHS that I don’t jump straight to suing your ass (and, by extension, the school district) back to the stone age (which was probably the last time anybody gave a good god damn about someone saying “How the hell do I know”).  You want me to apologize for using a pseudo swear word when you don’t blink an eyelash denying me my due for thirteen years of applying myself diligently in school?  You clearly have some pretty backwards ass priorities in terms of what demands remorse.

I knew a kid who was overheard saying the word “bitch” in the hall one day.  That landed him in detention for half an hour after school.  But when the school’s fucking Valedictorian says “hell” the school decides to revoke the credit for each test I got an A on for the last thirteen years?  Are you serious?  If the school thought you were a paragon of intelligent decision-making, a diploma from PHS probably isn’t worth much.  But I put in the effort, so I’m damn well going to get what’s mine.

Give me my fucking diploma by the end of the week before I lawyer up and let you assholes buy me a new house right out of college.  This is a fight you can’t possibly win; a fight that will embarrass you, and the school for which I busted my ass for thirteen years, in the national spotlight.  How eager are you to piss away a shitload of the district’s money showing the rest of the country that you place less value on the work of one of your school’s most accomplished scholars than a word you don’t like?

Pretty fucking sincerely,

Kaitlin

Hope it helps.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X