CHARLESTON, SC (CBS Local) – A South Carolina teen had his graduation cake censored by a local supermarket after the store failed to understand what “summa cum laude” meant.
The Latin phrase commonly used in academic – meaning “with greatest honor” – was requested by Cara Koscinski for her son’s surprise graduation cake she ordered online from Publix.
“Publix refused to write the words Summa Cum Laude because I was using ‘profanity!’ They put three dashes instead of the word!” Koscinski wrote in a Facebook post. More specifically, the store’s strict computer algorithm censored “cum” because it mistakenly believed the mother was using a sexually-explicit term.
Although Koscinski left special instructions with Publix, explaining what summa cum laude actually meant, bakers still omitted the middle word and replaced it with the dashes. Koscinski’s husband did not know about the controversy and picked up the cake believing there were no issues.
18-year-old Jacob, who had just finished a Christian-based home school program with a 4.79 GPA, was reportedly “humiliated” by the mistake which had to be explained to the boy’s 70-year-old grandmother during the celebration.
According to The Washington Post, the online ordering system at Publix is still blocking customers from using the academic phrase.
When asked for a response, Publix issued the following statement.
“Satisfying our customers is our top priority. You can feel confident that this situation has been addressed, and the appropriate business areas and leaders are involved.”
The South Carolina store did give Jacob’s mother a refund for the $70 cake as well as a store gift card when the gaffe was taken to a Publix assistant manager.