High School Punished Valedictorian For Saying “Hell” In Her Graduation Speech

Kaitlin Nootbaar rocked her four years at Prague High School in Oklahoma. She got all As, maintaining a grade point average of 4.0, and was also active in school activities. She was even named her school’s valedictorian.

In her speech at graduation, Nootbaar said — according to her dad — “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.'”

While there was laughter and applause in the moment, when Nootbbar went to pick up her diploma, she was alerted that officials were not amused by her choice of words.

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Nootbaar’s dad explains, “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.’”

The school is holding Nootbaar’s diploma until she officially apologizes in a letter. Kaitlin is refusing, feeling that she did nothing wrong.

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Fortunately, Kaitlin is getting lots of support nationally, even appearing on “The Today Show.” She issued this statement earlier this week:

I would like to thank everyone who is backing me on this, especially my friends and family. And to those who don’t agree with me, that is fine also. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and is free to comment however they choose. It’s one of the great advantages of living in a free country. A country where we are free to speak. I would also like to note that I do not hate Prague. I have loved that town since I was a child. I don’t hate the school either, the teachers have always been great! I don’t feel that the whole town should suffer from the mistakes of few. Again, thanks:)

This piece was originally published on Kate-Book.com, the website for, about and by Kates.