How Schools Wage War on Achievement

afraid of celebrating

Written By: Jon Finkel

And the war on achievement continues… According to some school officials in Plano, Texas, honoring students in the National Honor Society is no longer an acceptable practice. Why? Because it could, possibly, maybe, make kids not in the honor society feel bad. Next up, we’re not going to give out gold, silver and bronze medals at the Olympics because the 4th thru 8th place finishers will feel left out.

Here is a quote from the article from a student in the National Honors Society who will not be acknowledged at graduation:

“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.

Here is a link to the full article on KENS5 in San Antonio, Texas.

But what Frederick doesn’t understand is that working hard and putting in the hours to separate yourself from the pack is considered a negative to some parents in 2016… After all, by showcasing the fact that you worked hard and dedicated time to achieving a goal, that means that what you’re also doing is pointing out that others didn’t. And if those “others” feel bad at not having taken the road less traveled, well then, we can’t have that. So let’s not honor the National Honors Society Members in favor of protecting the National Whining Society.

Full disclosure: I was not an Honors Student. Not close. I was not negatively affected when my classmates who were Honors Students were honored as such. In fact, I remember thinking that it was impressive. That maybe I should work a little harder one day to get honored on stage like that. A thought that wouldn’t have occurred to me if school administrators chose to hide the achievements of my hard-working classmates to protect me from “feeling bad”.

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Jon Finkel is the author of Forces of Character with 3x Super Bowl Champion and Fighter Pilot, Chad Hennings, Heart Over Height with 3x NBA Slam Dunk Champion Nate Robinson, as well as Jocks In Chief, The Dadvantage – Stay in Shape on No Sleep with No Time and No Equipment, and all twelve volumes in the Greatest Stars of the NBA book series for the National Basketball Association, which won several ALA Young Reader Awards.

As a feature writer, he has written for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, GQ, Details, The New York Times,,, Yahoo! Sports’ and many more. His work received a notable mention in the 2015 Best American Sports Writing anthology.

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