Well my internet is down right now. Not sure why though. I came home and notice that my son is talking to someone and monkeying around with the router so I’m assuming he’s trying to get it fixed for me. Hope so!
So I’m typing this in Word and I trying to do research on my phone about something that is old news but that has really been bothering me. On August 20th the news story that caught my attention said, Kaitlin Nootbaar, Oklahoma High School Valedictorian, Denied diploma for Using “Hell" in Speech. I listened to the story, which I believe was on The Today Show and when it happened I thought, ”I should do a blog post about this!” but I never did because life got in the way as usual. So now that I’m making a concerted effort to avoid life in order to blog, I thought I would go ahead and write this.
Internet is back Jack!!!
Ok, so anyway back to Kaitlin and her speech. What bothered me about it is that they requested a copy of her speech prior to graduation for approval. In the copy she gave them, she used the word heck. Did she intend to use the word "hell" all along? Was it in the "heat of the moment" as the media is saying?
I know this really isn't that big a deal and the media has sensationalized it beyond belief, but what really bothers me is whether or not this girl who was a straight A student was dishonest in straying from the speech she had submitted for approval. If she was, then she doesn't seem like Valedictorian material to me.
Should she have to apologize? I say yes. There were lots of people there that may have been offended or shocked by her use of that word. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal but I see with my own mom how it might affect someone elderly. There have been a few times that she and I have gone to our local burger place to get an ice cream cone or a milkshake. This place is a local gathering place for high school and college age kids. It never fails that there will be a crowd of boys and girls that are using really vulgar language and I see how it offends and scares my mom. There is a time and place for everything but a public forum where there are parents, grandparents and children is not the place for a four-letter word! Yes, Kaitlin should appologize, it would be the decent thing for her to do. And just because the First Amendment gives you Freedom of Speech doesn't mean you have to exercise it.
Should the school withhold her diploma? No. What Kaitlin did and what was in her mind and heart is known only to her. If she misled the school staff by showing them a speech with the word "heck" and then purposely changed it to show how cool she was by quoting a scene from a movie and using the word "hell" instead of just being intelligent and creative and writing her own speech...well that is something she will have to live with. Myself, if she had been my daughter, I would have counseled her to apologize.
So what say you? Was she right or wrong? Should she apologize or not? Should the school give her the diploma or not?