School’s Event for Straight-A Students Sparks Controversy Over Kids’ Hurt Feelings

Billy Hallowell, The Blaze, February 6, 2014

A pizza and dance party for straight-A students at a Maryland middle school has sparked controversy among parents and students alike.

Kids at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md., Tuesday were rewarded with an “Academic Achievement Celebration” for having good grades.

The party, which started during the final period of the school day, featured pizza, soda, games and a DJ, according to WTTG-TV.

While some saw it as an appropriate reward for a job well done, others dismissed it as exclusionary. And here’s why: Kids who received lower grades were reportedly not allowed to enjoy free pizza at the party–and were only invited to attend after classes ended.

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Karen Hanlon, a parent with a child who has special needs and who was not invited to the party, said that the parameters simply weren’t fair.

“The students that don’t get to go end up feeling bad,” she told The Washington Post, claiming that the party divides students into groups.

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And the school’s principal, Casey Crouse, said that the event is meant to be an incentive and a congratulations for those kids who have performed very well.

“The intention is not to make those who didn’t achieve feel badly,” she told the Post, adding that lower-performing students are honored at the school in different ways. “This is to recognize those who did do well.”

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