Mass. High School Stops Reporting Honor Roll To Local Paper, Citing Desire To Reduce Stress On Students
H.S. Halts Publication of Honor Roll Needham High Cites Stress On Students As Major Reason
NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Needham High School has abandoned its long-standing practice of publishing the names of students who make the honor roll in the local newspaper.
Principal Paul Richards said a key reason for stopping the practice is its contribution to students' stress level in "This high expectations-high-achievement culture."
The proposal to stop publishing the honor roll came from a parent. Richards took the issue before the school council, which approved it. Parents were notified of the decision last month. Richards said he received about 60 responses from both parents and students and the feedback has been evenly split for and against.
Richards said one parent with three children attending Needham High told him publishing the honor roll is a constant cause of stress in her family. According to that parent, one of the three students routinely made the honor roll while the other two did not.
Another parent who didn't want his name used said his two youngsters, a senior and a junior at Needham High, both consistently received honors and high honors. He said he, "took special pride in opening the newspaper and seeing his kids names." He said he could also see how the publishing of names could put stress on other kids who did not make it.
Richards said publishing of the honor roll represented "an unhealthy focus on grades." He pointed out that there are lots of other ways that students achieve, such as in clubs, musicals, concerts, athletics and community service.
He said the ranking of students solely based on grades goes against the school's overall mission which is to "promote learning."
Maybe they should stop publishing the results of HS football games, too. Athletes, too, are victims of stress to win and outperform their opponents.
Hat Tip to Ace of Spades