Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's More Important?

Life is full of hard choices.

Have kids or don't? Take a new job or stay in the same one? Follow what my friends are doing or break out on my own? Paper or plastic?


I think the choices aren't the hard part - it's the living with the consequences. Sometimes the fallout of our actions or decisions lasts much longer than the split second it takes to take the road less traveled (or more traveled as the case may be.)

I watched a news story on Today about a high school valedictorian who used the word "hell" in her speech to her graduating class. She submitted the speech, in writing, to her school officials beforehand but changed the wording from "heck" to "hell" once she was behind the podium. Watch the video to see the full story.

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My opinion about this story is this: I don't care if she wants to say "hell" or not. I'd love to tell you that my kids don't hear that kind of language from me but I'd be lying. My feelings are that, if she wanted to use the word "hell" in her speech, then she needed to be ready to deal with and accept the consequences.

Now, the school wants her to apologize and won't release her diploma until she does. I think she's got another hard choice to consider: If the diploma is THAT important to her, then she should eat crow and apologize to the school. But if standing her ground, that she can say whatever the hell she wants to, then she should be ready to walk away from her diploma. And, from what I can tell, she *IS* ready to accept that consequence. But all the people getting up in arms about "The school should just give her the diploma anyway" is poor judgment.

NO, they shouldn't just say they want an apology and then back down from public pressure. It's their perspective. They aren't saying she didn't earn all her credits, they aren't keeping her from DOING anything. They are just withholding the fancy piece of paper. And that tangible piece of paper is worth - exactly - one apology. Not a big price to pay.

That's my 2 cents anyway.

Texan Mama

7 comments: said...

I am going to agree with you. The fact that she submitted the speech one way and CHANGED it tells me she knew it wouldn't be ok to say it, if you know you are doing somethign wrong you face the consequences.

Doesn't mean I think it is that big of a deal, but I am tired of people doing anything they feel like and then standing around saying "oh poor me what am I going to do they are too mean"

Follow the rules or don't, but if you aren't going to put on your big girl panties and deal with the consequences.

Gigi said...

I saw an article about this and thought "What's the big deal?" All over the word hell? Jeez, you hear worse on television. Now, with all that being said. She obviously knew what she was doing (or slipped up during the speech - who knows) and she should accept the consequences and not make it into a "media event".

Ellen aka Ellie said...

Um, paper.

As for HER paper, I think she's pretty wise to realize for her, the actual diploma is only a souvenir. She did the work, she's in college, she is moving on.

Do I agree with her choice? I'm not sure. I do think it's lame that she copied it from, of all things, a Twilight movie. In that, she's not looking too smart...

As for the town folks, well they were asked for their opinions and they shared them. No big deal. And who knows, maybe someone said something different and it wasn't shared.

Foursons said...

I read about this too and while I don't think it is a big deal that she used the word, I don't know that I necessarily disagree with the school either. However, if that administration believes that those students have pristine mouths inside the classroom walls then they are sorely mistaken. As a high school sub I can tell you that foul language is just as prolific as them pulling out their cell phones during class.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

I agree - using the word "hell" - very unoriginal to copy it from a Twilight movie. But is it a big deal? Not really.

What I think is so STUPID (and what continues to frustrate me) is that there is a growing trend among our society that people should not be punished. For anything. We should all just be nice and let things go and look the other way and sing Kum-Ba-Yah.

What this girl did is NOT SERIOUS. But it pisses me off that her parents are saying "She has the freedom of speech to say whatever she wants." Uh, no, that's not how freedom of speech works. If this girl were my child I would tell her, "Honey, you made your bed. Now you lie in it. I know you'll probably make some good decisions in life, and some bad ones. Now you just need to realize that you have to live with the consequences." said...

I usually don't comment more than once, but here goes. I think the argument that kids say worse and hear worse is a terrible argument. Just because I see people acting poorly around me doesn't make it ok for me to act that way. I have to admit that is something I struggle with regularly though.

What she said really doesn't seem that bad, but either there was deception, in which case there should be consequences, or there was a mistake, in which case an apology shouldn't be a big deal.

We live in a society where rules either apply to someone else or only to someone if it is comfortable for them and that seems like a shaky place to me.

Jennifer said...

She should have been honest and gave them the speech the way she wanted to read it. They could have approved or disapproved it. Then she needed to go with that decision. Sometimes in life in some situations you don't get to say whatever you want. What happens when her employer tells her not to use that language in a report and she does anyway and gets fired? No amount of free speech argument will get her out of that. Welcome to the real world baby.