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Graduation Honors

So, this story has been getting a lot of play on my social media in the last day or so. (Full disclosure: I was an NHS member who wore my stole at graduation)

tl;dr-A local high school doesn’t let kids wear National Honor Society stoles at graduation.


I think the kid in the linked story sounds pretty whiny. (ETA: not trying to say he’s a bad kid, I said TONS of whiny embarrassing stuff at that age)

“I’m not just an honor student — I’m an NHS student. I worked hard. I put in the hours,” Frederick said, explaining that he committed to 20 hours of community service every semester.


Uh, yeah, dude. Lots of kids did lots of things in high school. Including stuff that required more that ~1 hour a week of commitment.

So, I’ve basically had two thoughts about this kicking around in my head.

1. This is not a “librul” millennial* thing.

Because people are asshats who can’t do a minute of thinking or research, a bunch of people (including acquaintances) are jumping to conclusions that this is an new-fangled “everyone gets an award” type of thing. Nope. This policy has been around for 40 years (meaning it was instated for Baby Boomers by their Silent Generation parents) and the area is overwelmingly conservative (Bush got nearly 75% of the vote here in 2000, although Romney only got 65% of the vote last election). This is likely to simplify graduation. Rather than going through the process of which groups or clubs get recognized, they chose to recognize kids above a certain GPA and that’s it.


2. What things did your school recognize at graduation?

I graduated in 2003 and mine had recognized 4 things: 1) GPA based “honor grad,” 2) NHS (which pretty much overlapped with the honor grads), 3) National Forensics Leauge members (so anyone who was on the debate team), 4) Something else that I can’t remember (oddly enough, I got this recognition, because I got 3/4 that the school had and I didn’t do debate.)


Anyway, I remember the debate honor always seeming a little out of place, not that those kids didn’t work hard, but there were lots of other kids who worked equally as hard at their activities that weren’t recognized. I think it mostly had to do with having a coach/adviser that pushed the administration for recognition.

Along those same lines, I was a National Merit finalist, and didn’t get any recognition at graduation for it. And that was fine. My school didn’t have them very regularly, so it didn’t make sense to come up with some special thing to wear at graduation for it. Likely, the admin didn’t want to have to deal with what they would do next year when there was no Nation Merit finalist, but there was a national rodeo champ. As an adult, I taught at schools that had a handful of finalists every year, and they had a plaque that they added names to every year. It made sense for that school, it didn’t for mine.


*I’m soooooo sick of all of this millennial bashing (I know, I know, it happens to every generation...I’m an old enough millennial to remember the magazine covers of the 1990s focused on GenX). I went off last night in front of, but not directed to, my mother-in-law who has been more and more frequently making “the problem with this generation” comments. I’m also sick of seeing all those “problem with millennial” videos on Facebook made by other millennials where they boast that “but I’m not like other millennials, I’m a good millennial”

So, what do you think about this?

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