Kaitlin Nootbaar: Valedictorian denied diploma for saying ‘hell’ during speech

Nootbaar begins college on a full scholarship in just a few days.

According to Kaitlin Nootbaar’s father, she has never got less than a A during her entire four years of high school. She always maintained a 4.0 GPA, earning her valedictorian status. But Kaitlin was denied her high school diploma — all because she used the word “hell” in a speech as she addressed the graduating class of an Oklahoma high school.

According to Nootbaar’s dad, David Nootbaar, Kaitlin drew inspiration from “Eclipse: The Twilight Saga” for her speech at the commencement ceremony of Prague High School.

“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,’” Nootbaar told KFOR.

The speech was well received by the crowd and the rest of the ceremony continued as planned. However, when Kaitlin went in to pick-up her physical diploma, the principal refused to give it to her.

“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,” David Nootbaar said.  

The principal asked that Kaitlin issue a written formal apology for use of the word, which she has so far refused to do. She begins college on a full scholarship in just a few days. Officials at Prague High School has refused to comment on the controversy.


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