By now I’m sure that you have heard of the idiotic decision of the Prague Oklahoma Public School system to withhold the diploma of their valedictorian Kaitlin Nootbaar.
If not, you can read at least one news story about the fiasco here on Yahoo.
Earlier today (about 1 pm), I wrote to the Superintendent of the Prague Public School system, Dr. Rick Martin.
Below is the letter I sent to Dr. Martin…
Hello, Dr. Martin:
I have no doubt that you and the Prague school district are already catching a lot of flack over your decision to withhold the diploma of Kaitlin Nootbaar for her use of the word “hell” in her valedictorian address.
To some degree, I do understand your position, but it has nothing to do with the word itself. I would be concerned that she submitted a copy of her speech that, according to news reports, used the word “heck” and then changed it to “hell” when she spoke. There is one school of thought that would point out that she may have tried to mislead you and the school district.
On the other hand, there is a much better chance that she simply slipped.
I’m sure you’re aware of Occam’s Razor…the simplest answer is usually correct. In this case, the simple answer is that Kaitlin slipped.
But the largest issue is the reaction of the school district. Do you honestly believe that “hell” is the worst word Ms. Nootbaar or her peers have ever used? Do you honestly believe that she and her friends have never heard worse words?
And, Dr. Martin, have you and your teachers never used this word? I’ll wager that far worse is used on a daily basis in the staff lounge.
Be honest here…you, the school, the staff, and the entire Prague district already look like puritan demigogs trying to prove that you have a higher moral position than anyone else.
Trying to defend this position will only make matters worse. It will also likely lead to litigation. Can your district afford to fight a case that you will lose?
My suggestion to you is to come right out and say that you’ve made a mistake, take your lumps in the press and public opinion arena, give Kaitlin her diploma, and move forward from here.
Have a wonderful day, and good luck.
Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Melodee’s Books at BookStrand
Melodee’s MySpace, Twitter, FaceBook, Google+, and Yahoo! Group.
I would also encourage YOU to write to Dr. Martin if you feel this is, as Shakespeare said, much ado about nothing.
You can contact Dr. Martin at his public E-Mail address of: