I would like to thank the Syttende Mai board for giving me the opportunity to serve and represent the 2017 royalty. I took great pride in being first attendant and did my best to appropriately represent the royalty court. Even though my time on this court was cut short, it still helped with my public speaking and learning to be responsible.
I am thankful for the guidance and support that I received from the board and advisers. I would also like to thank my sponsors, Mike and Marie Cimino from the Westby House.
Unfortunately, there were situations that had nothing to do with me that led the board to make the tough decision to suspend the 2017 court entirely. There were many times that I felt uncomfortable and trapped in the middle. The advisers were well aware of the situation and did the best they could to help me, although it seemed to continue to get worse.
On Aug. 31, a message was sent to all parents and royalty girls stating: “Until further notice, all Syttende Mai Royalty events are suspended.” We were supposed to represent Syttende Mai in two Labor Day parades that following Monday. I took a screenshot of that message and added the laughing/crying emoji and sent it to a friend letting her know that we would not be attending the two upcoming parades.
By sending that message, I was not pointing any fingers or sending false information. It was a true statement. It is that message that the board claims that I breached my contract. They felt that I was “mocking” them. In reality, that was far from my intentions. I was embarrassed that we were not able to attend — a little like “weird, we are missing another event,” and a little relieved because there was a lot of tension among the other two girls.
On Sept. 4, I was crowned the 2017 princess and my crown and sash were ordered after an incident occurred that didn’t involve me. It was that incident that led the board to contact legal counsel. Legal counsel then suggested suspending the 2017 royalty to avoid escalation of the situation.
Because of Internet searches being there forever, the article written Sept. 23 could have an effect on scholarships, colleges and careers in my future. I just want my part in the suspension clarified. My family ended up hiring attorney Craig Steger after we were disappointed to find out that the Syttende Mai board would not clarify its statement quoted in the article and make the appropriate corrections that were needed. We were told by the board that this was done and over with and no further discussions would occur.
After Attorney Steger reviewed the Syttende Mai contract and the message I sent to my friend, he did not find that I had breached my contract in the following Social Media section of the contract.
“2.4.7. Social Media. Any member of the Royalty Court, and/or their parents, may not use any form of social media and/or cell phone inappropriately. Inappropriate behaviors include but are not limited to; explicit, nude, or sexually suggestive photos, foul language, and/or bullying. “
This has been a hurtful situation for everyone involved, but I am thankful for and still consider all of you my friends and even royalty family. I have been promoting the Syttende Mai’s 50th anniversary at school and only have wonderful things to say about the advisers.
This is honestly a wonderful opportunity and I hope to see many try out. I am very excited to attend the 50th Syttende Mai coronation on March 11, 2018, proudly representing the 2018 Westby Snowflake Ski and Golf Club, as first attendant.