CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) - A Lowcountry family was in for a surprise when they opened up the box to reveal a cake they ordered for their son's high school graduation.
When she ordered the cake this high school grad's mother, Cara Koscinski, wanted to celebrate her son's academic achievement. She asked the Publix bakery to write "Summa Cum Laude", which is Latin for "With Highest Honors". But that's not what ended up on the cake. Publix claims the word in the middle is profane and instead, but dash marks, so the cake read "Summa --- Laude".
Koscinski says, "It was humiliating and funny at the same time, but definitely shocking."
Jacob Koscinski just graduated from the Lowcountry Christian Home Educators Association. His mother says Jacob worked really hard for his 4.7 GPA and she wanted to recognize those high honors by displaying "Summa Cum Laude" on Jacob's graduation cake.
She says, "I ordered the cake online, and I ordered it Thursday night from the Publix website, and they immediately said "censored" when I went to hit the submit button. So I redid it because I didn't know what word would be censored. And it still didn't accept it because it had the three letters, c-u-m in it."
She says in the comment section, she specified that she wasn't trying to order a vulgar cake and the word is Latin.
Koscinski says, "That's what I said in the comments. We're homeschoolers, we know what that means, and we're not using it in that way. We're using it in a way to celebrate that he's graduating and I wrote in quotes, "with highest honors", so I even translated it for them."
She says the day of the graduation party, she called to check on the cake.
She says, "When they read it to me they couldn't pronounce the words, but it sounded fine."
Koscinski says her family was in such a rush before the graduation party, her husband didn't check the cake when he picked it up. They found the censored word when they got home.
Jacob Koscinski says, "It's kind of ironic because we're a Christian homeschool organization, they presented me with a Bible at my graduation. And the cake kind of contrasted the Bible in that it was censored and it was kind of weird and odd."
His mom, Cara, says, "The manager of Publix seemed not to know what that word meant either. It's not like I made a request that hasn't been made before. Jacob can't be the first student to graduate with honors."
They say the whole incident was embarrassing at the time, but now the whole family can just laugh about it.
Cara Koscinski says, "I would put it on a cake again, but not from Publix."
The family says when they went back to the store, the manager did apologize and give the family a $150 Publix gift card. News 2 reached out to Publix Supermarkets for a statement today. The company's Media Relations Manager, Kim Reynolds, says, "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."