A Massachusetts school principal has cancelled his school’s Honors Night in the belief that it would cause students who are not receiving an award to feel self-conscious and disappointed in themselves. According to Principal David Fabrizio, Honors Night could be “devastating” to the students who worked hard, but did not earn good enough grades to receive an award.
“The Honors Night, which can be a great sense of pride for the recipients’ families, can also be devastating to a child who has worked extremely hard in a difficult class but who, despite growth, has not been able to maintain a high grade-point average,” Fabrizio penned in a letter to parents.
Fabrizio asserted that he decided to cancel because academic success is often contingent upon support at home, which not all students are lucky enough to have.
Predictably, many parents are angered by the principal’s decision. “It’s been a tradition in Ipswich, and you’re very proud as a parent to see your child, as well as some of the other children who made, really, some great efforts,” said one of the parents, Dave Morin.
“I am mortified at the comments Mr. Fabrizio made,” Facebook user Patti Rairden wrote on Wednesday. “Accomplishments should be recognized. They encourage more strides toward excellence.”
Another user, Joey Tiberio, wrote that it’s people like Principal “that are killing this country.”
“Maybe it would encourage other students to work harder,” Nancy H Murphy DelSignore wrote, referring to keeping Honors Night.
In response to criticism, Fabrizio defensively responded that he will include the honors ceremony in an end-of-the-year assembly where students will be recognized in front of the student body, rather than in a separate evening in front of families only.
“Ipswich Middle School is dedicated to high achievement in every facet of our students’ lives. We did not cancel honors recognition as erroneously reported by FOX News Boston,” he wrote. “We changed our Honors Night from an exclusive ceremony at night to an all-inclusive ceremony during the day in the presence of the entire student body.”
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