Published August 20, 2012
An Oklahoma high school valedictorian was reportedly denied her diploma after using an offensive word in her graduation address.
Kaitlin Nootbaar, a 2012 graduate of Prague High School, used the word "hell" instead of "heck" during her commencement speech, prompting school officials to later withhold her diploma until she issued an apology, Fox4KC.com reported.
"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,'" the girl's father, David Nootbaar, told the station.
Nootbaar said in the written script his daughter gave to the school she wrote "heck," but said "hell" during the speech, according to the station.
Katilin's speech was met with a warm reception by audience members, her father said. But when the teenager went to pick up her official diploma, the principal told her she would have to submit a written apology before she could receive it.
"We went to the office and asked for the diploma and the principal said, 'Your diploma is right here but you’re not getting it. Close the door, we have a problem,'" Nootbaar told the station.