Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just One Question...

Several folks sent me this story. Not only is this in Massachusetts, this is only a couple towns over from me.

Massachusetts principal calls off Honors Night because it could be 'devastating' to students who missed mark
A Massachusetts principal has been criticized for canceling his school's Honors Night, saying it could be 'devastating' to the students who worked hard, but fell short of the grades.
..."The Honors Night, which can be a great sense of pride for the recipients' families, can also be devastating to a child who has worked extremely hard in a difficult class but who, despite growth, has not been able to maintain a high grade-point average," Fabrizio penned in his first letter to parents, the station reported.
Here's my one question: Does the school have tryouts for football, basketball, baseball, and other team sports?

I mean, it's pretty devastating to try out for a team only to find out that you haven't made the cut, right? You might be the hardest working person trying out for the basketball team - I mean, shooting hoops outside until it gets dark, practicing dribbling until it's second nature, etc. - but if you're 4' 11" and you're trying out against ten guys who are all over 6' 5", you're not very likely to make the team. Ditto the 5'2", 95 pound linebacker wanna-be. Yes, there may be a handful of students who try really, really hard but still can't make the honor roll. I suspect, though, that these students aren't the ones complaining.

Let me tell you something. Growing up as a "gifted" student, as well as being a chubby kid with little ability in sports and even less interest, I was a frequent target for the more pituitarily gifted kids. Smart kids make dumb kids feel really bad about themselves, and when they feel bad about themselves they lash out - sometimes physically, sometimes verbally. When they tell you that all you need to do to stop being bullied is hit back, they never explain how you're supposed to do that when you're the smallest boy in the class and there are four larger boys pounding the hell out of you.

The dumb kids feel bad on Honors Night? Maybe they should spend more time cracking a book and less time beating the hell out of the smart kid who just wants to be left alone and read his book. 

That is all.


Dirk said...

My 11- and 14-year-olds heard this story on the radio this morning on the way to school. They didn't believe anyone would be so stupid as to do something like that. they can't imagine anyone being "devastated" by not making the cut. Disappointed, maybe, unhappy, maybe, but certainly not devastated.

Then again, they earn any self-esteem they have, rather than have it granted to them. They don't have that entitlement mentality so common in this country these days.

Dave H said...

Being passed over is only "devastating" to these kids because the principal told them it is. To anyone else it'd be a huge disappointment.

I've actually told people "don't tell my kids how they should feel feel." That's for them to figure out, and to figure out how to deal with it. If we treat them like they've been traumatized by every little bump and bruise, they'll believe it. The when the world gets its ugly mitts on them they'll be useless.

Anonymous said...

I have several friends who teach including one in Taunton. The parents are usually the ones who are devastated, rarely the kids who know the score they deserve.

All the teachers have had parents insist Jr deserves an A+ instead of the 62% on his 7th grade biology course if he going to get in medical school. In reality, JR will be lucky if he can find a job taking out the trash at the local Mickey D's.


Bubblehead Les. said...

Gee, does that mean the School District is going to Ban the SAT and ACT tests at the High School because Little Johnny might not score high enough to get a Free Ride to Harvard?

DocRambo said...

You see, the Principal was once one of the less fortunate kids who not only missed out on honors night, he also missed out on the National Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa, and every other honor in his years traipsing through elementary education, a Masters in Kiddie Literature, and a PHD in Education. He has now risen to the top of the food chain and, by God, he's gonna' do something about it. Next, he will suspend grades and allow everyone to be Valedictorians. Liberal asswipe.

Jennifer said...

This should have come with a blood pressure warning. Let them be devastated. Let them learn that rewards are earned and those that don't earn them, don't get them.
You know what, I didn't have to work hard for 4.0 average in high school. Of course, I didn't get a letter jacket either. You couldn't letter in academics or choir so I was left out. Boo freaking hoo.
"When everyone's super, no one will be."

TOTWTYTR said...

This article makes my head hurt. It would really make my hypercompetitive son's head hurt.

Work hard, study hard, get good grades. Only to be told that it's unfair to the slackers and low lifes in your school.

Maybe they should just do away with grades all together.

Words fail me.

Ed said...

Too much time spent in Little League baseball - trophies for all participants!

Anonymous said...

Humpf. My HS had an honors convocation in the evening, and only the honors students and their families and teachers attended. The sports and ROTC kids got their awards during the school day. And yeah, as the designated slow,fat female target nerd, I got picked on from 7th grade until I started winning all kinds of academic awards (and the NJROTC commander let it be known that he did not approve of my being beat up. Amazing what the interest of a retired Navy Captain does to dissuade jerks.)