Senior students at a high school in Plano, Texas were told they cannot wear regalia showcasing their hard work in fear that it might offend classmates who failed to achieve a similar status. Members of the National Honor Society maintain an exceedingly high grade point, as well as complete 20 hours of community service each semester.
Normally, NHS students get to show off their work during graduation by wearing white satin stoles imprinted with a seal. However, a sponsor with the society told students that school administrators ruled it out this year because they wanted everyone to feel included and not left out, according local media outlets.
Plano Senior High School student Garrett Frederick has been a member of the National Honor Society since his sophomore year, maintaining a GPA of 3.6 and above, attending mandatory group meetings, and completing a minimum of six volunteer projects each semester. Failure to complete these terms results in probation and the potential to be dismissed from the program.
Needless to say, it’s hard work, which is why Frederick and other NHS students are voicing their frustration. “I’m not just an honor student — I’m an NHS student. I worked hard. I put in the hours,” he told WFAA 8 News, an ABC affiliate.
While working vigorously to maintain his NHS status, Frederick was under the impression that he would be able to showcase his achievements come graduation; that is, until he heard differently.
“I was really looking forward to wearing it and being able to say I was a part of it, because I have friends that go to [Plano East High School] and [Plano West High School], and they’re all wearing it,” he said. “So it’s like, I don’t know why we’re not allowed to wear it. I don’t get it.”
Standing up for her son, KellyAnn Frederick contacted the school’s principle to complain, to which they responded that no graduates get to wear any club or organization regalia so that everyone feels included.
“They deserve it,” said Frederick’s mother. “They worked so hard for it. If you choose not to work that hard, then that’s okay! I wasn’t an NHS kid. I didn’t wear the NHS stole when I graduated. But friends of mine did, and I was OK!”
Contradicting the school’s recent ruling, administrators at Plano Senior High said students with a GPA of 3.6 or higher are permitted to wear a plain honor stole; indicating that NHS students are in fact the ones being excluded.
Frederick and his friends have contemplated starting a petition; however, they don’t foresee a resolution being reached in time for graduation. Regardless, they are still holding out hope that a change in policy could benefit future students graduating with NHS honors.
“It’s kind of a national thing that’s recognized, so I don’t know why just Plano can’t recognize it,” said Frederick.