Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated from Prague High School in Prague, Oklahoma and is now attending college at Southwestern Oklahoma State, but her high school is refusing to give her a diploma because she said the word ‘hell’ in her valedictorian speech, drawing inspiration from Twilight character Jessica Stanley, played by Anna Kendrick, who gave the valedictorian speech in Eclipse.
She was talking about wanting to be a nurse and then a vet and eventually said, “How the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times.” — something that did not sit well with her school’s principal David Smith, who is refusing to hand over the teen’s diploma until she delivers apology letters to him, the school board and all her teachers.
In the movie, the speech goes as follows: “When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were thing like astronaut, president, or in my case… princess. When we were ten, they asked again and we answered – rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medalist. But now that we’ve grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how ’bout this, who the hell knows. This isn’t the time to make hard and fast decisions, this is the time to make mistakes. Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere. Fall in love – a lot. Major in philosophy ’cause there’s no way to make a career out of that. Change your mind. Then change it again, because nothing is permanent. So make as many mistakes as you can. That way, someday, when they ask again what we want to be… we won’t have to guess. We’ll know.”
Kaitlin also reportedly referenced The Hunger Games in her speech, but apparently the principal was just fine with that. Do you think she should get her diploma?