I don’t advocate students disrespecting their teachers and administrators.  In fact, I think when I was in high school we were basically terrified of most of ours.  But back in our day, if you got out of line in a big way, the end result was usually a paddling or a suspension or both.  Of course most of the schools don’t paddle any more.  Mommy and daddy (if he’s around) might sue.  Bunch of pansy parents today, I swear.  But swearing (and mildly at that) has always been a no-no for students.

Now let’s consider this story out of Oklahoma.  18 year old Kaitlin Nootbaar is the Prague High School Class of 2012 valedictorian.  As such, the lovely Kaitlin did, of course, give the keynote speech at the commencement.  During her speech she stated “They ask us now what we want to be, and we say who the hell knows.”  She was reportedly quoting a scene from one of those “Twilight” movies.  The school’s principal, David Smith, got his panties all in a knot and refused to give Nootbaar her diploma.

Now, the girl’s father is battling the district and Smith over the infraction.  Now let’s be honest.  Should she have said it?  Probably not.  Are the school and Smith going way too far?  Hell yes.  Everything I’ve read about this young woman so far indicates she’s a great individual.  And becoming valedictorian is far from an easy feat.  She’s earned the diploma.  Wouldn’t a little verbal admonition been enough?  The principal is demanding a written apology from Nootbaar.

I can sympathize with her predicament somewhat.  We went through the same thing with my daughter’s high school at her graduation over a calculator.  Their claim was that she failed to return it and until she either produced the device or a $100, she could not have her diploma.  What made this such a stupid episode was that these mental giants waited until she was at the graduation ceremony and about to take the stage to alert her.  They didn’t even have the guts to walk up to me or her mom to alert us before the ceremony began.  Needless to say, I paid the extortion money the following day, got my daughter her diploma, and gave the lot of them a proper dressing down for failing to do their due diligence in a timely manner.  All of it could have been avoided had someone opened their degreed mouth just a day before.  I’m sure what I said and did pales in comparison to what Miss Nootbaar’s father has done.  By the accounts I’ve seen so far, he’s mad as hell…and then some.   What's your take on this?


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