“High school valedictorian denied diploma over graduation speech”
“An Oklahoma high school valedictorian who used the word “hell” in her graduation speech in May has yet to receive her diploma.
Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated from Prague High School with a 4.0 grade point average, her father, David Nootbaar, told KFOR-TV. But school administrators told him that Kaitlin would have to submit a written apology in order to get her diploma.
“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 told the network.”
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Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email to a friend
When I read the article there were over 2,000 comments with 99% or more condemning the school and upholding the student. I submitted a comment similar to this article, but concise, which was hidden apparently due to a low rating, whatever that means. The comments were as disturbing as the article. I’m wondering if I’m that much out of step with new age thinking; do those comments really represent how the majority of the American society views things today? If they do, America is in far worse shape than I imagined. I agree with what most were saying that one four lettered word in a speech is not significant when we hear it everywhere including from parents in the home and grade school students on the playground, on TV and in movies, and just about everywhere else. Also, contrary to many of the comments, it is profanity; it is not used as in the Bible to identify a specific place, and in this case it is a serious offence. It is breaking the schools norms and rules whether written or not. I wonder if this girl is prepared to take responsibility for being the first to lower just one more standard in this country?
Clark Gable used a four letter word in a movie in the 1950s, “Gone with the wind”; before then profanity was seldom heard publicly, and never in movies or on TV. In those days men respected women too much to use profanity in their presence (Ironically today the “F” word is the favorite byword of college girls.). Profanity was certainly never used in the presence of children. Hollywood learned in the 1950s that they could include profanity in a movie and get by with it. Fast forward to 2012, and profanity is used constantly on TV and in the movies and just about everywhere else. One parent I know is disturbed because her 24 year old daughter uses all types of profanity in front of her son including the “F’ word. There is an older John Wayne movie called “The Cowboys” where young boys use profanity, even God’s name in vain. Are we now prepared to lower the standard in public schools and allow students to use whatever words they please in a speech to the student body? If so, it will eventually include all the words you now hear in the movies. Are they also going to be allowed to refer to their teachers using terms like SBs etc? This goes beyond freedom of speech; it is a matter of authority and abiding by the rules and norms of a decent society. Or, are we becoming a society where anything is acceptable?
I commend the school for their stand; just requiring an apology from the girl is very lenient. Refusing to grant a diploma at all would send a stronger message. The only problem with that is some liberal court might penalize the school district with a multimillion dollar award to the offender. We live in very crazy times, when that which is right is ignored in the name of political correctness or convenience.
I would like hear from you readers. Do you think that I’m too old fashioned and too far out of step with present day views? Please leave a comment below.
You might wonder why I include an article like this on a website dedicated to personal development. The reason is that I believe that the way we speak is an important part of personal development. Including profanity in private or public speech is still offensive to some. It also is never needed and never helpful. It has only been until very recently that politicians wouldn’t use profanity in a public speech for fear of offending people and losing votes. Perhaps even that is now changing.
Jimmie Burroughs: Founder of Christian personal development.
About the author: Jimmie Burroughs is a motivational speaker and author who has been involved in teaching Christian Personal Development for more than 30 years. There are hundreds of articles to help you on this website, Website Contents , in your person growth. If I can help you personally, please send your concerns via: Contact me.
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