Wednesday, May 25, 2016

When Our Egos Get In The Way

Photo credit: https://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/66606024.jpg
I heard Wylie High School had their award ceremony yesterday. I recall sitting through the three hour fete two years ago, while hundreds of students were called up to get their awards. Why they make it so excruciatingly painful, I have no idea. Actually, I do have an idea.

I guess it's because everyone has to get an award. Not to pick on Wylie High specifically because I know they all do it, but school administrators are so afraid of hurting anyone's feelings. It's not as if the honor roll is enough. It's not as if having a teacher praise a student for their hard work is enough. Student's must be coddled ad nauseam.

Award ceremonies that used to last an hour back in the day, with speeches from the principle and teachers, have turned into multi-hour gala's with a stream of students climbing the risers to get multiple pats on the back, while parents sit on pillows and stadium chairs because they heard it was ridiculously long. The adults in the room feel the incessant need to make sure nobody feels left out.

Rather than our children being taught that not everyone wins but hard work, perseverance and determination pay off, the overwhelming sense of social justice felt by the adults in the room outweighs any potential benefit to the students. We just feel better knowing that everyone got a participation award.

To add insult to injury, I heard the school no longer announces the total amount students earned in scholarships, unless the student is in the top 10% or got a football signing. Give me a break.

There was nothing quite like hearing what all the students were offered, as the school counselors made those announcements and patted themselves on the back, as if they had a little something to do with it. Parents were able to relish in the hard work their student did, regardless of class standing. But obviously  that practice was found hurtful to the top 10% of students. But by who?

It wasn't as if the students complained or anything, I'm willing to bet school administrators felt bad about announcing all the other scholarships . Because, you know, we are the monsters that created entitlement. There sat Oprah back in the late 80s shouting, "Everyone gets an award! Everyone is a winner!" and we just lapped that battle cry up as we licked our own wounds from not winning that spelling bee or being crowned King of the prom.

It's a shame too, because I was horrified to find out on graduation day that our kids were told to hide their honor cords. School administrators didn't want those who had a ton of silk hanging around their necks to make the "others" feel bad. It's a terrible policy that harms those who worked hard and rewards those who didn't, all so the adults in the room can feel better about doing something to iron out the wrinkles in social justice. I'm certain if the students were polled, they wouldn't care one lick about who has honor cords and who earned more in scholarships.

Our generation is the panty-waist, sugar-coated, politically correct, everyone needs a green fricking participation award weenies, and we are responsible for creating the entitlement mentality. The more we hoist our Oprah award policy on our students, the more we change their very being.

If everyone earned an award, fine. But don't hide the hard work of some students under the guise of protecting the others, when it is our own egos we wish to protect . Our kids were fine until we pulled that nonsense, and it is our own egos that need to be checked at the door.