What to Know
- A South Carolina woman says Publix censored her son's graduation cake and wouldn't let her have it say "Summa cum laude"
- She tried to use a special comments section to work around the issue, explaining the meaning of the Latin word, but that didn't work
- The cake came with hyphens -- the mother says the store gave her a refund and a gift card when she complained
A mother who wanted to celebrate her son in epic fashion for a 4.79 GPA upon graduation says a regional grocery chain refused to ice the words she requested because it considered "Summa Cum Laude" to be profanity.
Cara Koscinski, of South Carolina, wrote in a weekend Facebook post that she ordered a cake online from Publix. The confection was supposed to say "Congrats Jacob! Summa Cum Laude class of 2018."
She says the online message box took issue with the phrase. The computer marked the "cum," a Latin word meaning "with" in English, in "Summa Cum Laude" as a naughty word and substituted three hyphens.
[Photos-NY Subscription Service] Consumer Reports Ranks America's Supermarkets From Best to Worst
Koscinski said she then filled in a box for special instructions, explaining the meaning of the Latin word and placed the $70 order. Another family member picked up the cake, not knowing what it was supposed to say.
It came with the hyphens.
"How utterly ridiculous ... 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," Koscinski wrote on Facebook. "My son was humiliated!!!"
She says the store gave her a refund and a gift card when she complained.
The Facebook post has been shared hundreds of times since Koscinski posted it on Sunday night. Scores of commenters expressed frustration over the censorship, while some added a few quips of their own.
"Good thing it wasn't a 'magna,'" one commenter said. "It would've put them over the edge!!"
Publix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.