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Colorado School District Cancels Valedictorians

The Hall of Shame will soon welcome a new member: the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. Cherry Creek earned the honor when they decided earlier this month to do away with school valedictorians and class rank, lest anyone be… wait for it… offended!

“The practices of class rank and valedictorian status are outdated and inconsistent with what we know and believe of our students,” says a newsletter sent from the district to parents.

Beginning in 2026, students graduating in the district who leave the hallways with Cs and Ds will appear no different than those who made it through four years of high school without even sniffing a B.

The district apparently doesn’t want to recognize achievement because it might make underachievers feel bad about underachieving.

The district views the recognition of exceptional students as a competition. Which is exactly what it is. But rather than applaud first place finishers, Cherry Creek would prefer to lie and say everyone is a winner.

Nothing prepares Jan and Joey for the real world like telling them there’s no difference between first and last place.

“We believe all students can learn at high levels, and learning is not a competition,” the newsletter adds.

If that’s the case, why test anyone? Hell, why even give grades? If the Cherry Creek School District were an ice cream shop, they’d have no need for a menu — patrons could get only soft serve.

Rather than have would-be valedictorians give a commencement address to fellow graduating seniors, star students (can we even call them stars anymore? Or will that offend planets, asteroids, and NASA satellites?) will be recognized via a school honor roll and their GPA. Like they would anyways.

If you wish to view Cherry Creek’s plaque in the Hall of Shame for yourself, it’s just down the hall to the left — in between the “all genders” bathroom and the office of diversity and inclusion.

 

Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF

Written by Anthony Farris

Anthony is a former high school basketball intramural champion who played a leading role in creating two offspring. He spends his weekends hoping for an MTV Rock N' Jock revival.

Follow him on twitter @OhioAF

11 Comments

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  1. So hurt the chances of getting into good colleges for the students who would go to good colleges because they have the grades/class rankings…. because of feelings. This is equity, where you make everyone equally mediocre and miserable

  2. Nothing really new, but still stupid. In my high school back in 1979, thanks mainly to one guidance counselor, we didn’t have valedictorians nor were those of us in the Honors Society allowed to wear our honor cords on our graduation gowns. And this was in a year where we had 40 students (in a class of 400+) graduate with a perfect 4.0 over their entire high school career. Oh, and the other high school in the district did recognize honor students in their graduation ceremony.

  3. I was a horrible student in High School (and a jock), but most of my friends were “Nerds.” They kept me around because I was cool and hip and strong and they were — well — geeks and nerds, but I loved them. NO ONE picked on my friends; I remember many face-offs with other jocks and “cool people” who wanted to poke fun at them — NO WAY, not MY friends!

    At graduation, they all got these cool “Gold Ropes” to wear for being smart; I only wore a brace for a torn Anterior Talofibular Ligament (yep, I had to look up the spelling). As their last chance to rebel, they got me my own gold rope!! They made me an “honorary” Honor Society member, even though I finished in the bottom 50% of our class. I was always amazed at how smart they were; They loved cheering for me (offensive lineman) at football games! I wish “selfies” were a thing back in the 80’s, I’d have one with them after after game!

    The teacher who “sponsored” the Honor Society refused to let me walk at graduation with the “Gold Rope.” She took it from me. Being smart, they anticipated this move, they smuggled a 2nd Gold Rope for me to wear after we all got seated — they cheered for me when I got my diploma wearing that rope!! It is still one of the happiest days of my life. I went on to the military while they took scholarships to big SEC colleges. Later, I went to small inner-city college (with no football team), where I graduated Magna Cum Laude – finally EARNING my own “Gold Rope.” I was so proud, but told no one; I didn’t even go to my own college graduation ceremony. One of the old gang found out I graduated “with honors” and he showed up at my house with a 6-pack — to congratulate me. I found out he was going to be a father that day.

    So, here’s to Jason and Melinda and Jenny and Erick!! They weren’t Valedictorians, but they were all in the top 10 – Melinda was our Salutatorian. I went on to marry a Salutatorian who graduated HS 2 years behind me — Ironically, she was the Head Majorette, so she carried on the fight that I left behind; we’ve discussed many of the same defenses of our friends: defending our Nerds to our Jocks and defending our Jocks to our Nerds — it does work both ways.

    God Bless our Valedictorians, Salutatorians and all those who chose to reach for a higher purpose!

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