2009-09-10 / Letters

In Defense Of SF Reward Trips

To The Editor:

There seems to be some problems concerning the Southern Fulton Ocean City reward trip for the students who scored advanced or proficient on the PSSAs. Allegations have been made against our school for not following No Child Left Behind Act and for creating hostile environments for the students who met the PSSA standards.

The students who remained at school during the eighth-grade reward trip may have chosen not to go. Nowhere did anyone state whether their reason for staying was that did not want to go or that they were there due to not scoring advanced or proficient. Every eighth- and eleventh-grader is required to take an online "Study Island" course, which solely focuses on questions that are in a similar format as questions on the PSSAs. Also, there is a PSSA math and reading club offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

To the comment about bullying, the exact opposite has happened. The Class of 2010 has a signed petition of more than 30 names saying we deserve to go. On this petition there are at least 10 people who were not eligible for the trip. Many ineligible students actually admit to not giving any effort at all. To them, the trip is not worth a couple hours of effort, and now the parents of these students rise up in arms, claiming the school is faulty when truly their child's effort is inadequate.

What about the kids that are not capable? These students are given separate tests, specially adapted for their specific needs and abilities. Obviously, this excuse of "not capable" is not at all viable.

It has been clearly stated since our freshman year when this trip was started that it is a reward trip, not a class trip. Reward in this case is the trip for the people who scored high enough. If you question this system, you must question life - for in the real world work is completely based around a reward system. Parenting is based upon a reward system also. When a child does something right, he or she is rewarded. If their child is unsuccessful, he or she does not receive the reward. When applying for a job, the more qualified person is rewarded by being hired for the job. Should this too be reformed?

There are national societies such as National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society that have certain requirements for membership. Are they considered to be discriminative against students who do not qualify? They serve a purpose and have been established and successful for many years. When applying to college, the applicant's acceptance is based largely on grades, and the students with top grades are rewarded by scholarships from top schools. I suppose this too should be changed. This trip is our reward, and we will fight for it.
Southern Fulton
Class of 2010
Chase E. Duckwall,
Vice President

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