Is school honors night offensive to those who can’t participate?

‘Tis the end of another school year and time for graduations and the recognition of academic excellence for the year – at least you’d think.

Now it seems some schools no longer share the drive for excellence — but instead collective mediocrity. According to a report by Foxnewsinsider.com as seen on The Kelly File, a Rhode Island middle school canceled honors night because it didn’t include everyone, then backtracked on its decision.

You have to wonder what possessed someone — an adult — to come up with that whacky idea in the first place. Life is a competition and we all strive to be the best we can be. As a matter of fact, “Be all that you can be” was the Army’s famous marketing motto. But the fact is, there are levels of achievement for just about everything in life. Achievement is not an “all inclusive.”

Fox reports an email was sent to parents of students at Archie R. Cole Middle School in East Greenwich saying honors students would be recognized during team-based ceremonies and graduation instead of at the traditional honors ceremony. “Members of the school community have long expressed concerns related to the exclusive nature of Honors Night,” the email stated.

“How else are they supposed to learn […] coping skills, not just based on success but relative failure – it might not even be failure but understanding what it takes to achieve high levels,” parent Joe Kosloski said of the celebration’s cancelation. After days of controversy and feedback from parents, the traditional honors night is back on.

It is of great concern to me that this sense of entitlement and not wanting to offend and hurt feelings is starting at such a young stage. We cannot shield children from the truth and shame on schools for trying to do such as thing.

Principal Alexis Meyer wrote in an email, “We had no intention of failing to acknowledge and celebrate exemplary student accomplishment… Rather, our intention was to create a venue where all kids who meet the high expectations that we set for them are recognized and celebrated.” Yeah, right!

This morning at Detroit Metropolitan Airport awaiting my flight home after a great week traveling and speaking, I ran into University of Michigan football Head Coach Brady Hoke and his wife. I wonder what Coach Hoke feels about being the best in the Big 10 and going to the Rose Bowl or playing for a college football national championship? I’d imagine pretty good about achieving that standard of excellence.

I’m quite sure Coach Hoke would love to have the honor of coaching a Heisman trophy winner. And the downtown Athletic Club in New York City doesn’t gather all college football players together just to say, “All y’all are winners.” Someone will always be the best and we need to prepare our kids to excel, not just be a part of the average collective.

After all, there’s a reason why grades go from A to F. The liberal progressive socialists believe in the equality of outcomes. We conservatives believe in the equality of opportunity.

As I depart Detroit, I just have to ask, which perspective and governing philosophy was best for Detroit?

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26 Comments on "Is school honors night offensive to those who can’t participate?"

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Satisfied Customer
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This is stupid. Achievement should be honored and it;’s just too bad for the kids that don’t care about school and don’t try. Also, there is a way to include kids that don’t make the highest grades, but are actually trying. Set aside some awards for kids that have improved a letter grade average maybe. Like a C average student becoming a B average student. That is a marked improvement and worthy of an award for that child. And no I am not advocating for “everyone gets a trophy”, but instead for honoring high achievers as well as those who… Read more »
Sher Knapp Hogue
Guest

The world will always, and rightly so, set apart and laud those who excel. It’s best to teach children that at an early age. Mediocrity should never be a goal!

Hammy Hamtaro
Guest

When everything is given nobody will ever strive to earn or be anything, or at least not excel at anything.

Glen Saunders
Guest

The reality of this honor thing is it doesn’t mean anything. In years to come. Kids who are not honored now will at some point in their lives excel at something beyond this honor night. Give the glory where and when earned and forget about everyone being alike…….We’re not all alike. Thank God!! The Bush administration and their “No child left behind” started this BS and the so called intellects carried it on…..

Pat C
Guest

Glen Saunders – this has been going on long before the Bush administration existed. This is the “self-esteem” movement that began in schools decades ago.

Pat C
Guest

This is why tee ball (where everyone wins!), and other non-competitive ego-building exercises are ultimately destructive. Children should learn how to deal with the lessons associated with failure, disappointment and loss while they are young. Teaching them to correctly handle their feelings and to persevere would go a long way. Better to teach one person to deal with their own life, than to have that person running around trying to limit the rights of a planet full of “offenders”.

The_Patriot
Guest
The problem is that not all kids are taught to be the best they can be. This is the parents fault and then the schools. Same thing is kid’s sports the play not to win, why?, because they don’t want to have kids feel like they are losers. It’s shameful. Kids should be taught to be the best they can. They should be taught how to win with pride not arrogance. To lose with a good sports attitude. I have always taught my son Do your best and good things will happen for you. It worked, Teaching kids that they… Read more »
dginga
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I found it interesting that my young nephew, who is being raised in the leftist utopia of Ann Arbor, was playing a game with me and was getting frustrated because he was behind in points. I suggested we not keep score, hoping then that the game might be more fun for him. He looked at me and said, “If we don’t keep score, then what’s the point?”

Rena
Guest
I agree with your nephew, you need to keep score to know how you are doing. If you are just passed along in school with everyone else because the system doesn’t want to hurt johnny’s feelings how does that make you feel? When I was going for my Bachelors degree there was this one girl in there that could not spell, write and her papers were written as if she were in 4th grade… heck I knew some 4th graders that could write better. I started to question my own ability because if she is headed to grad school on… Read more »
dginga
Guest

I started out majoring in elementary ed in college. Some of the other girls in my classes were so stupid I didn’t understand how they got admitted in the first place. (Turns out they were children of grads.) Anyway, these chicks were so dumb that when we were supposed to be studying methods to TEACH arithmetic to children, these girls needed to be taught the arithmetic first.

I was so disgusted that I changed majors to economics and business. The dumb girls became elementary school teachers. Explains a lot…

Rena
Guest

Exactly. My degree was in Criminal Justice, and from what I saw from several students, I thought, yup this is our Judical system at work today. Money will buy your way into most any school and you can get honorary degrees in just about anything. It breaks my heart to be honest because i remember when we had to work hard to get into prestigious schools, not now because all you need is money and know someone higher up.

dginga
Guest
Frankly, over the years many of us had to work hard and be smart in order to get admitted to the really good colleges, but there have always been those who either bought their way in or were connected to “the right people” and were admitted even though they weren’t smart enough. I remember a guy who was a drunken idiot in college, but his family’s name was on one of the buildings so he got away with all kind of stuff, including cheating on exams. When I challenged a professor who was just letting this guy skate through our… Read more »
Rena
Guest
Yeah I know there has always been those that do, most kids of rich families are like that. I know one now who just got an internship at one of the oil companies in Houston. He’s 23 years old, for graduation from HS he had a special ceremony because he didn’t want to walk with the other students, he dropped out of college last term and now tells me that he doesn’t really like this job because he said its too boring. I’m thinking wow.. I’d take it starting at 15$ an hour when a lot of people don’t have… Read more »
dginga
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I guess there have always been kids like that; there just seem to be more of them these days. Or maybe I’m just old… One good story I know of is the kids of the founder of a major, privately held company. I went to college with one of those kids, and she told me that her parents started out with nothing and started the company in their garage. They had a rule in their family that they could NOT work for the family business until they had worked somewhere else for at least five years. Dad would not use… Read more »
The_Patriot
Guest

Smart young man! Kudos to him. He will go far.

Tread7
Guest

Whacky Leftist pushing PC disease pure and simple!

Kathy McKinny
Guest

Well when they grow up watching actors give THEMSELVES awards for simply DOING THEIR JOB, what do you expect??

Eric Holder the Criminal
Guest
Eric Holder the Criminal

Having gone to that school and having been raised in that town, I was very surprised that this even happened. East Greenwich is one of maybe two towns in the People’s Republic of Rhode Island that reliably votes Republican. It’s an affluent area with many down to earth families. I am not surprised that this was quickly reversed after parents got wind of it. However, if this had happened in any other town in the liberal-dominated State of RI, this “everybody gets a trophy” attitude would have prevailed in the name of keeping everyone happy.

49_67_71_77
Guest

My school never had a separate honors program. We had a very special Class Day for seniors. Then, on graduation night, awards were given out

Concerned Citizen
Guest

Many schools do not have a special honors night, but like you said graduation for all. They however do reward those that have worked hard to be special. Many schools now days are telling children not to be special, that would offend other students. I agree with Rena, when they get into the real world they are not going to know how to cope . They are not going to know how to excel to get what they want. And may really be hurt because they just don’t understand why.

49_67_71_77
Guest

I agree. I made excellent grades in school and graduated valedictorian of my class. I set goals for me. I did not brag about my grades but knew someone in another class who did.

Rena
Guest
I heard this morning that many schools are telling parents not to clap when their child goes up to get their diploma because some kids whose family isn’t there or have less people in attendance might get offended or hurt. The education system is setting kids up for fail when they get older. They not teaching them coping skills that they will need when they grow up and learn that this is a dog eat dog world and employers will fire you if you mess up or wont hire you because someone else is better qualified. I can see that… Read more »
Eugene
Guest

Hollywood would have to change too…they are the ones pushing awards for being better than everyone else…In fact I am offended I have not earned an Emmy Award …or paid the same money they get.;)

Eugene
Guest

I wonder if there is gender discrimination in their pay too!!?

4TimesAYear
Guest

What I despise – the “A” honor roll and the “B” honor roll. No reason for a secondary one. It cheapens the term “honor roll”.

Dewey McGeoch
Guest

Here’s what NYC Drag Queen Lady Winifred has to say on the topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-ZBavutL18