Archie R. Cole Middle School is getting a lot of heat for changing its honors night ceremony.
Alexis Meyer and Dan Seger created an uproar this week when they sent a letter to parents at an East Greenwich middle school in Rhode Island. The letter addressed a long standing tradition called honors night in which students were awarded for their special achievements. After pressure from members of the school community, who are not being named, principal Meyer and assistant principal Seger sent out a letter changing the format to a “team-based recognition” ceremony. Here is the letter:
The unnamed community of people who were concerned about the exclusivity of the long-standing honors night only had a short time to celebrate. The social outcry from students’ parents and the blogosphere was overwhelming. Even students who didn’t make the cut for the honors night awards were speaking out against the school’s initial decision.
Joe Kosloski’s daughter Kaitlyn is an eighth grader at Cole Middle School who didn’t make the cut last year to attend honors night. She told ABC6 she didn’t agree with the changes despite her lack of participation.
After talking with numerous angry parents and being swamped with outcries from social media, another letter was recently posted on the Cole Middle School’s News and Information section of their website. The letter states that after receiving feedback from the community, Meyer and Seger appeared to change their minds: “In light of our conversations, we have decided to honor excellence as we had planned, but at a traditional evening event.”
In the first part of that statement, it appears that the school reversed its decision for a different format for honors night, but in the second part of the statement, it seems this may not be entirely correct. The letter refers to a “traditional evening event.” It wasn’t made clear what the format of the event would be. The letter ended with “Further communication will be shared with you by the close of this week on the final details.” Parents and students may have to wait until then to know what’s in store.
An interesting side note is a sentence within Cole Middle School’s mission statement. It says, “We recognize, respect, and value individual differences.” It would seem the degree to which those individual differences are recognized is up for debate.
Initial Letter Image Via YAHOO! News