Grocery Store Censors ‘Summa Cum Laude’ on Graduation Cake

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A Publix grocery store in South Carolina censored the word “cum” in “summa cum laude” on a student’s graduation cake.

A Publix grocery store in the Charleston, South Carolina, area has come under fire this week for their decision to censor a graduation cake for 18-year-old Jacob Koscinski. The student, who had recently completed a home-school program with a 4.89 grade-point average, was disappointed to see that his cake was censored by the grocery store.

His mother, Cara, asked the store to write: “Congrats Jacob! Summa Cum Laude class of 2018.”  Instead, the cake they received read: “Congrats Jacob! Summa — Laude class of 2018.” “Summa cum laude,” of course, means “with the highest distinction” in Latin, a term commonly used to honor top graduates.

Cara posted a photo of the cake to Facebook, explaining that when someone else went to pick it up from the store they failed to check the cake for any issues. “Shame on you Publix for turning an innocent Latin phrase into a total embarrassment for having to explain to my son and others (including my 70-year-old mother) about this joke of a cake. My son was humiliated!!! I seriously couldn’t make this crap up!!!!” she wrote in the Facebook post.

The grocery store offered Cara a full refund for the cake and a store gift card, according to a Washington Post report. Although the store offered to remake the cake, Cara begrudgingly denied.

In a Facebook comment, Jacob wrote that the cake mishap was “frustrating and humiliating.” “It was so frustrating and humiliating to have to see my friends and family bear witness to this cake. I did not want to see this happen on my special day. Shame,” he wrote.


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