Twilight Fan Student Refused Diploma For Graduation Speech Inspired by Eclipse

This is one of those things that you shake your head at in disbelief. Even more bizarre it’s a public school that has to adhere to state law, and we’re pretty sure denying a diploma when you have completed course work is illegal. You can deny privileges: prom, field trips, etc, but not the diploma if you have actually completed all the work. By virtue of the fact she was the valedictorian, and in fact was delivering the speech at graduation, it would seem that she had. They only way there might be a loophole here is if she signed some kind of contract where she acknowledged losing her diploma if she went off script. It makes you wonder,if these folks have acquainted themselves their own US History and civics classes. The first amendment, which given this is a public and not a private high school would apply here, you can say any number of things that are unflattering, but they can’t withhold a diploma for that if you have in fact completed your course work.

TY to Green Lily

Comments

  1. how can they ban someone for getting a diploma because they based their speech off of ART. Eclipse is literature ! that was a best seller ! this is sickening.

    • First off, that quote is from the movie. Not the book. Bella isn’t even paying attention to the speech in the book. Second, and this is just a guess, but this probably has more to do with the fact that she cursed in her speech than it does with Twilight. If the school is anything like other schools they have a zero tolerance for profanity.

      • It shouldn’t matter what was said. The most they should do is say she was rude and set rules for next year’s speech. She completed her course work, ergo she legally graduated. My husband didn’t even go to his graduation, he just went to the office and got his diploma. Now that said, she was told that if she apoligised in writing she could get it. So if she wants it that bad, she should just bite the bullet and do it. Otherwise, it really doesn’t matter. She doesn’t need her diploma to go to college, it’s mostly a sentimental keepsake. What colleges will need is transcripts, which they cannot deny her, they are simply a record of work completed. The only reason they could legally deny those are if there was some clause about graduation speeches or there is an associated fee that they have not paid. (I do not have my diploma, I only have transcripts. I got accepted to two colleges with them.)

    • Very well done, that is what she gets for quoting a terrible movie, not everybody likes to have their time wasted…
      FAITH IN HUMANITY RESTORED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • SOmething is obviously wrong with you. ONe, Eclipse is also one of America’s most hated books. And she got it from one of the movies, so obviously you only care about the movies. PLus, It’s not because she based it off of the crime against nature called “Eclipse,” it’s because she “cursed” in what was meant to be an inspiring speech to students.

  2. Holy hell. That is ridiculous!!!!

  3. What? That’s ridiculous! Just give the girl her diploma so she can go to college already!!

  4. Freedom of speech. Check the Constitution. For heaven’s sake…

  5. Just one more reason I’m glad I homeschool.

  6. Does not the speech in Eclipse reflect real life? so art imitates life imitates art? What exactly is the school upset about? Use of what some consider foul language? Use of the quote? She completed work, the school doesn’t have a leg to stand on to deny giving her the diploma.

  7. No pun intended but this is just Fifty Shades of Wrong. Notice how the Board of Education said nothing to her until she went to pick it up? Notice to Superintendent: this is a public school district! I hope she files suit, then I hope the Board fires your a**. Private matter not to be discussed? Dude, you need to brush up on what the First Amendment is about. This thing will no doubt go viral and you will look like a bigger loser than you already are.
    To Caitlyn: (sp?), stand your ground! Do NOT back down to this idiot! Then make sure YOU exercise your 19th amendments rights and vote that school board out if they don’t at least reprimand the idiot Superintendent. (who probably is a Republican-sure is acting like one)
    I repeat: DO NOT BACK DOWN!

    • Sheila,

      I agree with you totally, except on one point. Public school employees (teachers, adminstrators, superintendents) are 98% Democrats.

      • Teachers, custodians, food workers, bus drivers etc. are usually Democrats. Superintendents and administration? Republican. Plus, if administration could eliminate collective bargaining rights they sure as “hell” would. ;-))) (Couldn’t resist! lol!)

    • I absolutely agree, it is a public school, and being far too poor to put my kids in private school, they are subjected to every form of debauchery, self gratification, profane, and debased thoughts, ideas and actions.

      Now this may not rate, as far as the crap I have seen in the schools, but what about the part that she made an agreement with the school. She gave her word, by signing a contract. If she did not want to be confined to the parameters of the contract, her other option was to not participate. Why are you defending someone whose word is worthless, because its twilight? Valedictorian or not, it was a vapid move on her part and for what? She was not decrying war with a Peace or Kony 2012 tshirt under her cap and gown. She wasnt advocating for a cause that may mitigate her departure from her submitted speech. She quoted Eclipse and used profanity, embarassing her family. While some of the kids probably thought it was cool, Nana, in all the way from podunk tennesse to see her grandson graduate did not think it was cute.

  8. Kristina ramirez says:

    I personally shall email the school on her behalf. Support from the public is what this young lady needs. Even if it wasn’t from the twilight movies, she should recieve her diploma.

  9. this is just so far out…poor girl.

  10. Ok, there is always more than one side of the story. She apparently submitted the speech beforehand, the version she gave them had “heck” as opposed to “hell”. She agreed beforehand that she would not use that word. The issue is not Twilight, the issue is this young lady agreed to something and went opposite that. So whether or not her diploma should be held for that is debateable. She did the work for the diploma. The speech doesnt qualify her to get a diploma. She will get it eventually I am sure.

  11. Absurd! Another administrator with a stick up his ass. Fools.

  12. That’s so stupid ! What so the girl said the speech of twilight ? And ??? I bet she’s like ” it was so worth it “

  13. Many moons ago, a few years before my own graduation, I attended a graduation where the speaker ended her speech the following way: She put on Raybans, pulled out a bottle of Coke, and paraphrased Tom Cruise from Risky Business, “Sometimes you just have to say, ‘What the _____.’”
    She was denied her diploma (our district sends it to you, because final grades are not in. The last final is the day before, and for a few unfortunates, the morning of, graduation.) She was told that after she wrote letters of apology to the school board and principal, she would receive her piece of paper.

  14. The problem here, I believe, is not a matter of the school trying to censor either “bad” language or in pop culture trends. As many of you have pointed out, it is ridiculous that a school should take such extreme censorship in this or any case. The problem here, however, is plainly that of plagiarism. The speech described in the news clip was not merely a “nod” to the Breaking Dawn graduation speech, but it was clearly lifted and poorly paraphrased from a screenplay, meeting all the criteria of plagiarism. Plagiarism is theft of intellectual property and it is within the school’s rights – I should even say it’s within the school’s duty – to take action in such cases.

    When this same student attends college or university in the fall, the same act could win her either an F in her course or worse – expulsion from college. The reason for expulsion can even be notated on her transcripts, making a “fresh start” at another school nearly impossible. As a professor, I have personally seen how rampant plagiarism is on college campuses and how quickly it can destroy a student’s college career. Often times these problems stem from high schools that do not take an active stance in educating or disciplining students with regards to plagiarism.

    If this is indeed a plagiarism case (which is my suspicion), withholding a student’s diploma may seem like a harsh punishment, but it is within the school’s right to do so. And why shouldn’t they? What does it say about a valedictorian (or the school that awarded her the grades that helped her achieve valedictorian status) if she cannot compose her own graduation speech?

    We do not know all the facts in the case as the high school refused to comment. It is likely that they are looking into the claims and cannot make a decision to hand the girl her diploma until those decisions are final. We need to keep in mind here that there is much more to this than meets the eye.

    • Twilight_News says:

      There was no plagiarism. She didn’t quote beyond fair use in the speech.

      • Mel_Australia says:

        To my knowledge, the student herself has also not come out and said that she is a twilight fan, or that her speech was inspired by Eclipse, so it’s possible that the similarity was purely coincidental.

      • I respectfully disagree. Widely accepted definitions of plagiarism state that a piece (of writing, of a speech, of music, of a work of art, etc.) that mimics the composition patterns of an original can be considered plagiarized. (Visit plagiarism.com for a more detailed discussion on the various forms plagiarism can take.) It seems (again, I am only going by the small snippets of the student’s speech vs. Jessica’s speech in the news clip) that the student’s speech was much closer to the original than even borrowing the compositional patterns.

        You said yourself that she didn’t quote beyond fair use. There is one error in that reasoning; the student never did cite the movie as a source for her inspiration. If she had, there would be no argument. Though the format differs, citing borrowed work must be done in verbal language just as it is done in written language. Again, I’m only going from the limited argument in the article and the video clip. If the student did, in fact, state something to the tune of “As Jessica in Breaking Dawn states…” or “Melissa Rosenberg said it best in Breaking Dawn…” before presenting this portion of her speech, then there’s no argument; she is within fair use. If the argument is that the this student’s speech bares too little resemblence to Jessica’s speech from BD to warrant a plagiarism case, why is the issue posted on this, a Twilight fandom, website?

    • I’m sorry, but everyone keeps saying Breaking Dawn, graduation was in Eclipse. I just had to point it out.
      At my graduation the valedictorian used quotes from other people but she didn’t cite it. Everyone knew who they were from. She didn’t get in trouble.

      • Eclipse. You’re right; I stand corrected. Late night brain mush.

        Not every instance is the same and not every school is the same. Certainly, for every 1 student who is caught, several more than that are passed through. If your speaker had just told the audience who originall said the quote (like “Buddha said…” or “President Obama said…” etc.), it’s fair.

        Again, I have no additional knowledge about this article. I am only speculating based on the same clip/article that everyone else is watching and responding to. When authorities do no state the reason for their actions, all that we can do is speculate. I did want to mention, however, that the school may be acting in the student’s best interest (and also following the law) by not commenting, rather than serving themselves by avoiding bad press (which is how it appears). Because she is a minor, because students’ files are not open to public scrutiny, and because as this is has something to do with her school record, the school board is not commenting. If the parents or the student want to disclose the reason the school withheld the diploma, that’s their business.

  15. Mel_Australia says:

    The student may have been intending to use the word ‘heck’, like she had originally intended to, but may have been nervous in the moment and slipped up. I know that it could easily happen to me!

    Secondly, she used aspects of Jessica’s speech, but not all of it. She talked about the number of times throughout her high school career when she had changed her mind about what she wanted to do, and then when someone asked her of her plans post-school at a later stage, she said ‘how the hell am I supposed to know?’ She was empathising with the difficulty that students have choosing what they want to do and often on the basis of limited information (a situation that many school students that I meet in my course advice work for an Australian university face), and when they have limited experience of the world, rather than advocating for a lazy approach to making career decisions.

    I do think that she should have stuck to her script, but if she really had been a model student throughout her entire high school career up until that point, it seems a little extreme that her exemplary record would have become unstuck and that they would with-holding her diploma because one incident.

  16. I bet at least half of those teachers and officals have done something similar when they were younger, they either have short memories or have forgot what its like to be a student

    • What the administrators did or didn’t do when they were this girl’s age is completely irrelevant. Hopefully, when people grow up they realize the stupidity of what they did in their younger years. What if I did drugs when I was 15? Does that mean I should excuse all 15 year olds doing it now? Because they’re just doing what I did. Of course not! That’s an extreme example, but it shows the ridiculousness of using another person’s past as an excuse of another person.

  17. Galadriel says:

    Hi guys !

    I’m not from your country and I’m of the same advice as you all. How could I not be? This is common sense that this is ridiculous and unacceptable. Common sense has been murdered all over the world and especially in the US where it seems the powers that be have shown their true colors. Intimiditation, condemnation, ridicule, calling people names, illegal laws, etc are some of their tools. These people are exactly like the Volturi.

    • I’m so glad that in the UK – where I come from – and where my daughter recently gradated from University with a first class degree, this kind of puritanical nonsense doesn’t go on. Students say far worse than “hell” and nobody bats an eyelid! “Hell” isn’t even considered “bad language.” America really needs to drag itself out of the dark ages!

  18. Christina says:

    This is so beyond illogical that I’m totally speechless. That administrator should be forced to resign. 4.0′s all the way through high school–you go girl!!!

  19. MaleTwilightFan says:

    I read this same story on Yahoo. I would think saying he double hockey sticks would be alright, as long as it wasn’t the F word. I think because the copy of the speech she gave to the faculty had heck in it and when she said the speech it was different. It depended on the context she used the word in which was completely acceptable. They should give her her diploma.

    • Saying “hell” isn’t even that bad. My school’s chant is “Give them hell”, though the school is a university, andmailable are pros ably more leanant. :P

  20. Let me start off by saying I do not agree with the school. With that being said. The school in question is only a few miles from my house. I know several people who attended the graduation. It is not the fact that it was based off of Eclipse. It is the fact that the school is located in the middle of the bible belt and she used the word “hell.” She did not mean to and it was a slip on her part.

  21. It always amazes me to see someone who is clearly wrong get the support of so many people.
    *First of all, how many of you know where your High School Diploma is. They cannot withold her transcript which is all she needs. I am sure the college she is attending this year already had it at the time the speech was given. I have never seen anyone’s HS diploma posted on a wall.
    *This young lady gave her word, by signing a contract. I know that your word isnt quite worth what it used to be, but shouldnt it be? Should you sign something knowing that you are not going to adhere to it? Should there not be repercussions?
    *What happens next year when, because there was no action taken, the valedictorian pushes the envelope a little further.
    Folks, stop backing people that behave with no integrity. She wasnt representing a cause or speaking out on a point of passion. She was trying to impress her peers, which I guess is ok, if you are willing to pay the consequences.

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