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Maryland high schools toss 8,000 diplomas over spelling error

High school students in Maryland have received diplomas in which the word "program" was misspelled. WRC-TV's Jackie Bensen reports.

The thousands of high school graduates in Prince George's County, Md., have completed all their studies, but they don't have an official diploma to prove it.

A spelling error marred at least 8,000 high school diplomas that were distributed last week, officials from Prince George's County, Maryland's second-largest school district, said. Students received diplomas that stated they had completed the approved "progam" of study.

The missing "r" was discovered after commencement exercises had already begun.

“We apologized for any inconvenience or disappointment this may have caused our students,” Briant Coleman, spokesman for the Prince George’s County Schools, told msnbc.com on Thursday. “Our students have been disappointed and at the same time are relieved that they will be getting their new diplomas soon.”


Prince George’s County, located outside of Washington, D.C., has 23 high schools, Coleman said.

The mistake resulted from vendor error, he said.

The printing company issued an apology, saying it would cover the costs for reprints. “We understand the value of your hard work and achievement; therefore we are reprinting your diploma,” read a statement from National Quality Products, NBCWashington.com reported.

Terrence Odom, 18, who graduated on May 30 from Oxon Hill High School, said he was disappointed by the typo.

“I would think it would be somebody’s job to proof and reproof again, especially with something that serious,” Odom told The Washington Post. “We were all excited to get our diplomas. Now we have to wait to get the official one.”

Coleman said the diplomas should be in the mail later this month.

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