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School withholds valedictorian’s diploma for saying “hell”
KFOR-TV ^ | August 18, 2012 | La'Tasha Givens

Posted on 08/21/2012 7:51:43 AM PDT by servo1969

PRAGUE, Okla.– There’s a bit of diploma drama going on between a local high school and that school’s valedictorian.

David Nootbaar is furious his daughter’s school is keeping her diploma.

He said, “She has worked so hard to stay at the top of her class and this is not right.”

Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated from Prague High School, the Red Devils, in May and was named valedictorian.

When tasked with writing the graduation speech, her dad said she got her inspiration from the movie “Eclipse: The Twilight Saga.”

Nootbaar said, “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 hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times.’”

He said in the written script she gave to the school she wrote “heck,” but in the moment she said “hell” instead.

Nootbaar said the audience laughed, she finished her speech to warm applause and didn’t know there was a problem.

That was until she went to pick up the real certificate this week.

“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,’” Nootbaar said.

He said the principal told Kaitlin she would have to write an apology letter before he would release the diploma.

A move her dad believes is illegal.

“She earned that diploma. She completed all the state curriculum. In four years she has never made a B. She got straight A’s and had a 4.0 the whole way through.”

Kaitlin starts college in a few days on a full scholarship, making the administrators’ decision even more appalling to her family.

We tried to get the school’s side of the story.

Superintendent Dr. Rick Martin said in a statement, “This matter is confidential and we cannot publicly say anything about it.”

Kaitlin doesn’t plan on writing an apology letter because she doesn’t feel she did anything wrong.

Her family supports that choice.

Kaitlin sent KFOR-TV this statement Monday afternoon:

“First off, 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:)”


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: graduation; speech; twilight; zerotolerance
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Well, first off I think she should have said it the way she wrote it. I can see why they might be slightly irritated with her.

But, they're not going to give it to her unless she does what they say?

And what if she doesn't do it?

Are they just going to keep her diploma forever?

How does that work?

Does that mean she'll never officially graduate until such time? They are allowed to do that?

Seems that there is a bit of petty tyranny to me. Seems like someone wants to let her know who's the big boss before she leaves.

1 posted on 08/21/2012 7:51:54 AM PDT by servo1969
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To: servo1969

Someone needs to ‘school’ that principal on the Constitution, and common law on theft of personal property, and extortion................


2 posted on 08/21/2012 7:55:15 AM PDT by Red Badger (Anyone who thinks wisdom comes with age is either too young or too stupid to know the difference....)
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To: servo1969

So the Red Devils’ principal is going to withhold the official diploma of this student who received a full scholarship? That means she cannot officially receive her full scholarship because the school she attends requires an official transcript and diploma before they will hand out her scholarship money. What a jerk this princiPAL is.

Where is it written in the school rules that the school can withhold a diploma because the valedictorian said a bad word in a speech? The Prague Red Devils need to grow up.


3 posted on 08/21/2012 7:58:02 AM PDT by petitfour
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To: servo1969

Irony: Being punished by a school whose mascot is the Red Devils for saying the word “hell.”


4 posted on 08/21/2012 7:59:41 AM PDT by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: servo1969

What the hell?


5 posted on 08/21/2012 8:00:22 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: servo1969

Some of the most bureaucratic, inflexible and narrow-minded people I meet are “educators”


6 posted on 08/21/2012 8:00:31 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: ConservaTexan

Why didn’t she get her “real” diploma at Graduation like I did?


7 posted on 08/21/2012 8:02:09 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: servo1969

the little foul mouth brat needs to just write the apology and move on with her life.


8 posted on 08/21/2012 8:03:20 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: servo1969

Amazing—This is coming from a system that has taken God out of the schools, gives out free condoms, teaches homo-sex is ok and much more and is out-raged that someone would use a word that describes where the School system Is-just stunning


9 posted on 08/21/2012 8:04:14 AM PDT by eglman
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To: servo1969

Hell AND Damnation, she should have been preaching.


10 posted on 08/21/2012 8:09:16 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: TexasFreeper2009

This is about a government official trying to exercise an authority they do not possess.

She had technically (and legally) already graduated from the school prior to the beginning of the ceremony (the graduation ceremony is just a show with no legal significance whatsoever; if you don’t attend the graduation ceremony you are just as legally graduated as if you did). The school’s authority to control her actions and punish her ended the moment she graduated.


11 posted on 08/21/2012 8:13:01 AM PDT by Brookhaven (Freedom--tastes like chicken)
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To: servo1969

I’d withhold it due to the fact that she lifted this idea from those dumb Twilight movies.


12 posted on 08/21/2012 8:15:25 AM PDT by al_c (http://www.blowoutcongress.com)
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To: servo1969

Looks like Jesus would have to apologize as well to get a diploma

Matthew 5:22

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:29

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Matthew 5:30
And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Matthew 10:28
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 18:9
And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Matthew 23:15
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

Matthew 23:33
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?


13 posted on 08/21/2012 8:17:37 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: servo1969

A friend of mine was not allowed to graduate with his class and almost didn’t get his diploma. But not because he said “hell.” He drove his truck through the security gate and was planning driving it into the school and parking it in the common area next to the cafeteria before someone talked him out of it.

That didn’t sit well with the administration.


14 posted on 08/21/2012 8:18:58 AM PDT by al_c (http://www.blowoutcongress.com)
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To: servo1969

In polite company, we don’t say “hell”. It’s somewhat vulgar. It certainly doesn’t belong in a valedictorian address. It is somewhat disrespectful and rude.

Constitution? First and second amendments? In a theoretical sense, of course she has a right to say nearly whatever she wants.

Why is it so hard to admit a mistake?

It’s pretty f’n easy, really.

(uh.. oops)


15 posted on 08/21/2012 8:20:40 AM PDT by ecomcon
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To: servo1969
The kid owes the school and the audience an apology.Deliberately misleading the school with the text she submitted before the speech particularly egregious.It shows a distinct lack a class.
16 posted on 08/21/2012 8:20:58 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (The Word Is Out,Harry Reid's Into Child Porn.Release All Your Photos,Harry!)
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To: servo1969

lack a class = lack of class


17 posted on 08/21/2012 8:22:01 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (The Word Is Out,Harry Reid's Into Child Porn.Release All Your Photos,Harry!)
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To: servo1969

I can’t get to the school’s home page. When I try to bring it up, I get shunted to the athletic page. Angry protesters on the Internet must be putting its staff through hell.


18 posted on 08/21/2012 8:22:24 AM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
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To: servo1969

Obviously I wasn’t there, but based upon what I’ve read in the story, the principal’s response is way overboard here.

Okay, she should have said “heck”, as it was written in the speech. Maybe she planned to say hell, maybe she didn’t. Either way, let it go already. It’s not like she went into a 15-minute routine from Chris Rock or Lenny Bruce. She didn’t even drop an F-bomb. Beyond that, she completed her studies at that high school (in outstanding fashion, though GPA is not the issue here), and is moving on to the next phase of her life. The principal needs to write this off as a senior moment and move on, too.


19 posted on 08/21/2012 8:22:56 AM PDT by DemforBush
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To: Brookhaven

You are right about one thing “the graduation ceremony is just a show with no legal significance whatsoever”

But here is where you go astray. Many schools have their graduation ceremony before the end of the school year (sometimes WAY before). And students are required to continue to attend school after the meaningless ceremony and follow all school rules (including ones regarding behavior at school functions like the meaningless graduation ceremony) until they officially graduate.


20 posted on 08/21/2012 8:22:56 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: Red Badger

I have thought a lot about this.. She should apologize. It is a lesson in humility. When she wrote it, the rules were that it had to be approved by the administration. SHE KNEW THAT. She submitted it and it was approved. She changed it after the fact.

In life, when you break rules, the are consequences. If she did not like the rules, she should have complained before.


21 posted on 08/21/2012 8:24:57 AM PDT by Hildy (F"When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser." - Socrates)
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To: Brookhaven

Was that the case here?

There doesn’t seem to be any indication that it was.


22 posted on 08/21/2012 8:27:22 AM PDT by Brookhaven (Freedom--tastes like chicken)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

So I suppose YOU thought that Billy Sunday was “Foul-Mouthed” to when he said “Hell”.


23 posted on 08/21/2012 8:27:43 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: servo1969

Hey! “Nootbaar” is my middle name!


24 posted on 08/21/2012 8:27:43 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: servo1969

Shoulda said “Washington.” We all know that place is hell.


25 posted on 08/21/2012 8:32:16 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: Hildy

Just because there are rules does not mean they are good rules..........


26 posted on 08/21/2012 8:40:03 AM PDT by Red Badger (Anyone who thinks wisdom comes with age is either too young or too stupid to know the difference....)
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To: US Navy Vet

I am not a big fan of profanity and I think it should be discouraged.


27 posted on 08/21/2012 8:40:14 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: servo1969
"Well, first off I think she should have said it the way she wrote it. I can see why they might be slightly irritated with her."

Have you ever done any public speaking? I am an accomplished public speaker (I actually enjoy it). But, under the pressures of the moment, have experienced far worse mental lapses than replacing "heck" with "hell".

Once, speaking to an audience of about ninety (a small audience for me) on a subject on which I am a recognized expert, I twice referred to a friend as "Williams", instead of the correct, "Richardson". Something felt vaguely wrong, but, it wasn't until he pointed it out afterward, I realized what I had actually said...

~~~~~~~~~~~

The girl is only a high school senior -- speaking to (probably) the largest audience she had ever faced -- at a high point in her life. Drop your holier-than-thou attitude -- and give the young lady a break!!

28 posted on 08/21/2012 8:41:45 AM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: servo1969

At least she is still learning something useful about government “administrators”


29 posted on 08/21/2012 8:44:24 AM PDT by Mr. K ("The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum [of good]")
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To: servo1969

Prague, Oklahoma now has three notable things for their Tourist Bureau to brag about:

1. Prague is Jim Thorpe’s hometown.
2. A couple of earthquakes shook Prague last year.
3. The Red Devil’s valedictorian said “hell” in her address this year.

I find it difficult to get too excited about the number 3.


30 posted on 08/21/2012 8:46:26 AM PDT by Ole Okie
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To: TXnMA
If it was a mistake as you say, then she should just apologize as requested and then get her diploma and move on with her life.
31 posted on 08/21/2012 8:46:33 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Just a question: what makes ‘Hell’ a profanity? Is ‘Heaven’ a profanity as well? Is ‘Hades’ a profanity, or how about ‘Limbo’ or ‘Purgatory’? As far as I can determine they are no more profane than ‘Dallas’ which is only a profanity in Redskins territory.


32 posted on 08/21/2012 8:53:20 AM PDT by Bob Buchholz
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To: servo1969

A million people use the word hell everyday. There is really nothing offensive about it. The Bible says it a bazillion times.


33 posted on 08/21/2012 8:56:05 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: TexasFreeper2009; Gay State Conservative; ecomcon; Hildy
My comment #28 is for all of you as well...

At the very least, the school should not be requiring one of its graduates to READ a "canned" speech -- when they should be preparing their students for extemporaneous speaking.

This story is all about micromanagement and control by a petty PC tyrant who should have the "heck" kicked out of him.

34 posted on 08/21/2012 9:00:22 AM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: servo1969

She should apologize and after they place the diploma in her hand she should say; “Now. . .ya’all can go to hell.”


35 posted on 08/21/2012 9:01:42 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Bob Buchholz

There is nothing wrong with the word “hell” when used in the proper context. Just like there is nothing wrong with the word “bitch” when used in the proper context.


36 posted on 08/21/2012 9:02:28 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

“Deliberately misleading the school with the text she submitted before the speech particularly egregious.”

YES! Finally someone who gets it. I don’t think any of us want to live in a society where 18 year old valdictorans might deviate from the state approved text of their speech. In fact, im not even sure why they get to write their own. It would be better if the school wrote it and she just delivered it. Wait, thats risky too. So maybe the the school should write it, and hire an actress who looks like her to read it.
The crime is that the kid who won valdictorian must submit their speech in advance so it can be censored to the tastes of the administration.
All power to the state! All because someone said hell. This is a joke.


37 posted on 08/21/2012 9:04:22 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: ConservaTexan

Bingo.


38 posted on 08/21/2012 9:11:07 AM PDT by knittnmom (Save the earth! It's the only planet with chocolate!)
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To: DesertRhino

so... you would approve of students shouting profanities and racial slurs or mooning the audience at a graduation ceremony?

heck! why not allow them to assult the principle while there at it!

heck! might as well allow them to grab their teachers ass!

/s


39 posted on 08/21/2012 9:11:47 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: servo1969

I have to admit I am enjoying this, as Prague is the arch-rival to my sons’ school, and they were always obnoxious to us. As someone pointed out locally, the coaches there drop F-bombs constantly during the games, so it is sort of hypocritical. What a way to make national news.


40 posted on 08/21/2012 9:12:17 AM PDT by Montanabound
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To: TexasFreeper2009
"If it was a mistake as you say, then she should just apologize as requested and then get her diploma and move on with her life."

I am not a fan of profanity, either, but the proper response to the above is, "'Request', hell!!! That was a DEMAND!"

Would you allow your employer to withhold a paycheck you had earned -- because you had said something he didn't like?

if your answer is "yes", then change your FRName to "Californican Freeper 20(whatever...)" -- because you don't have what it takes to be a real Texan...

41 posted on 08/21/2012 9:17:33 AM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: DesertRhino
All power to the state! All because someone said hell. This is a joke.

I was completely serious in my post.I was brought up in a typical 50's/60's home.One of the many things I was taught when young is that there's always a way to express oneself without the use of *any* profanity,even a relatively mild form of it.The use of profanity is a sign of either intellectually laziness or lack of breeding.

42 posted on 08/21/2012 9:23:59 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (The Word Is Out,Harry Reid's Into Child Porn.Release All Your Photos,Harry!)
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To: Hildy

To hell with humility. It’s the most overrated “virtue” there is.

There are reasons that smarmy lawyers who pad their (plaintiff payable) bills on slam dunk cases like this, and this district is one of them.


43 posted on 08/21/2012 9:26:00 AM PDT by E Rocc (November 2, 2010: The beginning of the end of the kleptocracy.)
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To: TXnMA
I attended a high school which had a meaningless graduation ceremony a week or so before graduation. And it was made VERY clear before hand that we were expected to continue to attend classes afterward and abide by all school rules during the graduation ceremony and until the last day of class.

For instance:

state law requires a kid to attend X number of school days per year or not graduate. Kid X attends meaningless ceremony a week or two prior to graduation and decides not to attend school anymore mistakenly believing that the meaningless ceremony meant he was done even though he was told otherwise before hand. another example: Kid attends meaningless ceremony a week or two prior to the end of the school year and decides that he doesn't have to take his final since he already received an empty container at the meaningless ceremony.

44 posted on 08/21/2012 9:28:13 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: servo1969

Happened at my H.S. but several years before I graduated. Some seniors had some wild party between Finals and graduation ceremony and they got busted by the police. The school withheld their diplomas until the end of August so they didn’t misbehave before going off to college. They went through graduation and the whole thing and got their diploma binder but it was empty inside.

A couple years (in 1987) after I graduated (1985), I went to a friend’s graduation and the class picked a well known pothead to give the speech and it was hilarious. He made many references to the word “high” and “higher” and I remember the principal just sitting in his seat and you can tell he was not happy. But no action was taken though. The ironic thing, the principal had a sex accusation lodged against him in 2004 or 2005 since he was a Jesuit Priest, he was ousted for an incident that happened in 1986.

> Seems that there is a bit of petty tyranny to me. Seems like someone wants to let her know who’s the big boss before she leaves.


45 posted on 08/21/2012 9:30:50 AM PDT by CORedneck
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Thats absurd, some of that is criminal. If they do those things they are arrested for assault on the principal, or for indecent exposure. Nothing remotely like that happened here. And yes, i would rather have the extremely rare incident of some kid saying hell, than your control freak version of “conservatism”

Do you really think the founders wanted a society so structured that a graduation speech must be submitted and approved by the government? That idea is offensive and is much more at home on the left. Conservatism isn’t supposed to be statism, with us holding the wheel as the only difference.

And let me clue you in, those things you are getting a case of the fainting vapors over could still happen anyway, valdictorian or not. Any kid could run up on stage and do all of those disruptive things you listed. Having the government carefully monitor and approve her speech protects you from nothing. But it does make you more statist. Stalin, Islam, and British headmasters would be really proud of you.


46 posted on 08/21/2012 9:33:54 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Thats absurd, some of that is criminal. If they do those things they are arrested for assault on the principal, or for indecent exposure. Nothing remotely like that happened here. And yes, i would rather have the extremely rare incident of some kid saying hell, than your control freak version of “conservatism”

Do you really think the founders wanted a society so structured that a graduation speech must be submitted and approved by the government? That idea is offensive and is much more at home on the left. Conservatism isn’t supposed to be statism, with us holding the wheel as the only difference.

And let me clue you in, those things you are getting a case of the fainting vapors over could still happen anyway, valdictorian or not. Any kid could run up on stage and do all of those disruptive things you listed. Having the government carefully monitor and approve her speech protects you from nothing. But it does make you more statist. Stalin, Islam, and British headmasters would be really proud of you.


47 posted on 08/21/2012 9:33:54 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: DesertRhino
sure, anyone can come onto the stage and do anything they wish.

But they will then reap the consequences.

That is how civilization works.

You and everyone else is free to do whatever you wish, but then you have to pay the consequences.

In this case, the consequence is an apology or no diploma.

48 posted on 08/21/2012 9:38:27 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: Gay State Conservative
One of the many things I was taught when young is that there's always a way to express oneself without the use of *any* profanity,even a relatively mild form of it.The use of profanity is a sign of either intellectually laziness or lack of breeding.

Risky Business: Sometimes you just gotta say "what the ****"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQXKOxGhMuA

49 posted on 08/21/2012 9:39:34 AM PDT by trailhkr1
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Well, bless your heart!


50 posted on 08/21/2012 9:43:14 AM PDT by petitfour
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