A graduation speech by a Prague High school student, Kaitlin Nootbaar, has got her into a whole lot of trouble.
Appointed the class valedictorian, on account of all her A grades over the years, Kaitlin was tasked with giving a speech at the Oklahoma school’s graduation day. So far, so good.
And, in time honoured fashion Kaitlin submitted a speech to the school authorities for their review. That seemed to pass muster…as you’d expect for an A grader.
On the day her audience gave her speech plenty of laughter and applause. Little did she know then that there was trouble brewing with the very same speech. A hell of a lot of trouble.
We’ve noted in the past how other valedictorians have had troubles with their unapproved graduation speeches because of small-minded petty bureaucrats on school boards and education districts. Typically when a student dares to supplement a pre-approved speech then there’s a problem!
And Kaitlin’s problem? She swapped the word “heck” for “hell.” Yes, I said it. Admonish me, now.
Her speech, inspired by the film, Eclipse: The Twilight Saga, included the phrase:
Now that I’m getting closer to graduation people ask me what do you want to do and I say “How the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times.
Audacious content for a high school graduation speech.
She realised that there was a problem with her speech when the school authorities refused to present her certificate when she went to collect it after the speech ceremony.
Education Superintendent Dr. Rick Martin stoked the flames with, “This matter is confidential and we cannot publicly say anything about it.”
You couldn’t make it up…especially as the school fields the “Red Devils” football team. The devil remains in the detail. In this case she had one wrong word in her speech. But it’s proved hellish.
When you are looking to get your graduation speech just right, you will find plenty of our public speaking tips on the main website. Or, you can always call us and discuss how you can join a public speaking course with Time to Market.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+