I can’t help myself from saying this, so I’m just going to say it. I think it’s really stupid that Southampton High School is planning on dropping the valedictorian and salutatorian designation for the class of 2014. Call me crazy, but it’s kind of important to have the ability to decide who the two smartest kids in a high school class are.
I just don’t get the motive to remove this. It’s like saying that we are going to remove the baseball champions in high school or remove the MVPs on high school sports teams.
The only motivation that I can think of is this weird philosophy that it’s better to have nobody win at anything because it hurts those who lose, so instead, we will create situations where it’s impossible to win, therefore everybody wins, right?
Well, you can look at it that way.
But the reality is that when you create situations like this, everybody does not win—and everybody LOSES. Because of the decision to get rid of this competitive designation that every smart kid hopes to one day achieve, there is less motivation for these kids to be competitive with one another and do great things at school. The girl in my high school who was valedictorian was a remarkably hard worker and still is today. She fought tooth and nail to become valedictorian and got it. And if she didn’t get it, it would have been good for her to learn that you don’t get to achieve everything you want in life, but you always have to fight for it.
All right, I’ll get off my soapbox.
Wait a second, maybe that’s it! Maybe it’s the speeches! Maybe the teachers simply can’t stand the god-awful graduation speeches that so many of these kids give every year. I agree with that. Stop giving the valedictorian and salutatorian the opportunity to deliver a speech at graduation. It’s always a nightmare. A NIGHTMARE. That I’m in favor of. Let the funny comedic guy in the class give the speech.
For crying out loud, let this designation stand. Competition among smart people is a good thing.