Oklahoma Valedictorian Denied Diploma In National Spotlight - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Oklahoma Valedictorian Denied Diploma In National Spotlight

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A Facebook page titled "Give Kaitlin Nootbaar Her Diploma" has more than 3,300 followers. A Facebook page titled "Give Kaitlin Nootbaar Her Diploma" has more than 3,300 followers.
PRAGUE, Oklahoma -

A high school valedictorian who was denied her diploma for saying a four letter word is getting national attention.

Kaitlin Nootbaar refuses to apologize for saying the word "hell" in her graduation speech and is willing to fight for her First Amendment right.

Nootbaar told News 9 what got her in trouble.

"It's a direct quote," she said. "It is not anything we have ever been punished for before."

8/20/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Valedictorian Catches 'Hell' For Graduation Speech

Kaitlin was referring to dreams after school in regards to a career. She asked the same question from the popular Twilight series, "who the hell knows," and like the students in the movie, Prague's graduating class laughed. Their principal was not amused.

"Yeah he just stopped moving and froze up you can tell instantly he had a problem with it but like I said he never came to us with it," said David Nootbaar.

When she went to pick up her diploma Kaitlin was notified, she would get it after the school board got an apology.

"I told her you are not going to write that letter because I didn't join the military for them to take away your First Amendments rights," he said.

The Nootbaars talked to a lawyer about those rights.

Now a Facebook page titled "Give Kaitlin Nootbaar Her Diploma" has more than 3,300 followers. One wrote "Now here's the killer contradiction. The school mascot is the red devil!!!! But don't mention the devil's hometown, hell, in your valedictorian speech. I hope the principal and superintendent get burned on this one."

The college has Kaitlin's transcripts so when she gets back from New York she will start school. The superintendent of schools thinks the principal's request is reasonable.

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