Regarding “Prague denies student diploma after speech” (News, Aug. 22): Kaitlin Nootbaar's father claims it was because of her use of the word “hell” that she's being denied her diploma, but her statement in context makes it obvious it wasn't the word itself but the way she used the word — “How the hell do I know” — that was clearly inappropriate, crude slang unbefitting a formal dignified affair such as a graduation — and certainly unbecoming of a valedictorian, who's supposed to be some kind of a role model for her peers.
However, what she said wasn't offensive enough to justify depriving her of her diploma. It was more of a verbal faux pas on her part that could have been avoided with some pre-graduation guidance or counseling in how to deliver a speech that won't offend or embarrass anyone. School officials should be aware that not every graduating senior has social intelligence equal to the academic intelligence that wins for her/him the honor of valedictorian. At the same time, the audience shouldn't be left with the impression that this mode of expression is acceptable in a formal speech. This could have been accomplished without depriving the graduate of her diploma.
Mary Ann White, Oklahoma City
Outpatient ROBOTIC HYSTERECTOMY. Trust an experienced Robotic Surgeon.