School District May Stop Honoring Its Valedictorians

Indiana officials worry honoring No. 1 student is fostering 'unhealthy competition'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2016 12:35 PM CDT
School District May Dump 'Unhealthy' 'Valedictorian' Label
There may soon be no more valedictorians in the Indiana's Greater Clark School District.   (Melanie Maxwell/The Ann Arbor News via AP)

While colleges debate the use of trigger warnings and safe spaces, administrators in Indiana's Greater Clark School District are worrying about one word in particular they say may cause students angst, SheKnows reports, via MSN. That word is "valedictorian," a title the district is mulling dumping in lieu of a new recognition system for its high school seniors—mainly because that coveted honor may foster "unhealthy competition," per WHAS11. "When students are competing for [valedictorian and salutatorian], they’re trying to find ways to maneuver through the system … and get the best grades they can possibly get, as opposed to taking the coursework that's truly in their own best interest," Greater Clark Superintendent Andrew Melin says.

The proposed change to this system would be to instead give a shoutout to the top 10% of the kids in the graduating class, which could be more than 50 students. The top 5% would receive a "high distinction" honor, WDRB notes. "We’ve got all of these great students [who] work very hard … and we want to be able to recognize more of [them]," Melin tells WHAS. Some parents are already voicing displeasure at the proposal. "In today's world, there's always [going to] be winners and losers, and you always just do your best," one mom tells WDRB. Meanwhile, conservative commentator Todd Starnes writes for Fox News that the school district has come down with PTS—"Participation Trophy Syndrome." The district's school board is set to discuss the proposed change at a meeting Tuesday. (More valedictorian stories.)

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