I’ve noticed a growing trend in public schools. It’s no longer politically correct to have any type of honor society or honor roll. It all stems from the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality crafted by a pathetic society that is more concerned about people feeling left out than recognizing anything that dares to look like “exceptionalism”. There’s one article that’s getting a lot of attention these days, but I’ve been aware of this trend for a few years. I call bullsh*t on this trend.
There is nothing wrong with pointing out the students who achieved good grades. I’m not saying this because I was a member of any national honor group nor am I saying this because I was a frequent flyer on the honor roll. I was never in any formal society and my presence on the honor roll was occasional. I didn’t get to wear a special tassel at graduation . . . maybe I should demand a do-over. Nah, I’d never do that. I’m not an idiot.
I’m saying this because there’s nothing wrong with recognizing people who do well. There’s nothing wrong with pointing out the students who worked extra hard. There’s nothing worrisome about applauding intelligence. There’s nothing offensive about lauding good grades. There’s nothing obnoxious about rewarding the students who sacrificed other things to do well in class.
I have two kids. The overachiever and the underachiever.
My daughter is a textbook overachiever. She is an extraordinarily diligent student. She does all of her homework without being asked, she studies for tests (more than once), she throws herself into research assignments, she writes papers again and again until they are just right, she pays attention in class, she is self motivated to study beyond what is required, she reads instead of goofing off, she is an exemplary student. She does everything she needs to do to do well in school. She is on the honor roll. She earned every single one of her grades. She earned her place on the honor roll.
My son is a textbook underachiever. I’m not saying that he isn’t smart. He’s incredibly intelligent and has a creative streak his sister doesn’t have. In a side by side comparison, you’d be hard pressed to figure out which one is “smarter” than the other. What is easy to see is he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about school. He regularly “forgets” to bring home homework assignments, he often refuses to do his homework, he almost never studies for tests, he is often distracted in class – preferring to wage wars inside his desk with pencil erasers and other items, he hates school and has no interest in studying, he only reads if we threaten to take away electronic devices, he is a terrible student. He does very little he needs to do to do well in school. He is not on the honor roll. We celebrated a small victory today when we saw his report card included a recommendation that he be promoted to the next grade (his father and I were seriously concerned). He also earned every single one of his grades. He did not earn a place on the honor roll.
In the anti-exceptionalism world of liberals who demand equal outcomes for everyone, my daughter’s hard work and achievements would be ignored. They would be ignored because the educators wouldn’t want someone like my son to feel bad about not receiving the same honor.
Here’s where I want you to pay close attention. Seriously, lean in a little closer. I want to make sure you hear what I have to say.
HE DOESN’T DESERVE TO BE ON THE HONOR ROLL. And I’m OK with that.
SHE DOES DESERVE TO BE ON THE HONOR ROLL. And I’m OK with that.
I am perfectly OK with him not getting a trophy. He doesn’t deserve it. He didn’t earn it.
I am perfectly OK with him feeling left out. If he wants to feel differently, he can make the necessary changes to achieve the honor.
Let those deserving honoring be honored.
It’s time to go back to giving recognition only to those that deserve it.