MBC award or participation award?

MBC award or participation award?

Editorial Board

Every time I hear MBC now I roll my eyes.

Last week, our administration invited every student to the auditorium to congratulate approximately 600 students (out of a possible 812) on excelling in mind, body, and character. This Mind, Body, and Character, or MBC award, has replaced the traditional principal’s scholar award ceremony, which was reserved for students who earned at least a 4.0 GPA. The real question about this ceremony and its new initiative is: Why?

At this ceremony celebrating 600 students- most of whom were there for excelling in the “mind” category of MBC, according to the certificate emailed to them- we were told that at the end of the first semester, our administration hopes that the ceremony will be celebrating 100% of students. So, basically a participation award. I thought graduating was my participation award.

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We are skeptical to believe that 3/4ths of our students excel in mind, body, and/or character, and are in disbelief that there will be an attempt to say that 100% of them do. Just like at any other school, there are really good students here and some not so great ones. We are not eight years old and playing rec soccer. Not everyone should be celebrated, and not everyone deserves to be celebrated.

Mr. Hills gave the example that showing up to class was a way to excel in mind. In fact, showing up to class is not excelling. It’s just being a regular student following the rules.  He also mentioned a random act of kindness as a way to excel in character. Being nice is cool, and if you’re nice then it will be recognized by those around you, which means a lot more than an email and missed instruction time.

What is administration’s real goal? Just to say that 100% of our students excel in mind, body, and character? If you want to give all of us ice cream, go for it, but don’t tell us we are excelling along with every student, because that’s false. To excel is to be exceptionally good; above the rest.

Instead, if you want to give us ice cream because you appreciate the entire student body, please do so, and label the celebration aptly. And if teachers are nominating students, we propose that teachers send the nominations to students directly (instead of an anonymous email that says “You excel in ________.”) We believe students would love to know that a teacher singled them out and would probably like to know their wording and why they appreciate the student. That means so much more than sitting in the auditorium watching names on a screen.