National honors society manipulates high school careers


Jordan Leal, News Editor

“I’m so sorry Jordan but you’re not getting into National Honors Society —  not this year or next year.”

That’s the last thing I heard as my heart pounded through my body and I had to fight back the tears.

This happened my junior year on a typical day in fourth-period psychology with the very teacher who happens to be the newly elected NHS adviser. Moments prior to this, Ms. Jessica Brehaut looked through a packet of papers, slowly eyed the room, and then asked, “Jordan can I see you for a minute?’

A million thoughts raced through my mind. What did I do? I reassured myself that I am a good student, never got in trouble, and I couldn’t possibly have done anything wrong, but the distressed look that consumed Ms. Brehaut’s face began to tell me otherwise. It was the “D” I received in history, term two of my freshman year (the lowest grade I’ve ever received) that would prevent me from getting into the National Honor Society.

NHS was a dream of mine since freshman year. I was a scared little girl, but I built a strong academic reputation, and an unbreakable confidence. They aided one another to grant me  the motivation to work that much harder to reach my goal, but unfortunately, in the end, freshman year posed a threat to my success, and I’m paying for it now.

The news that I would not be accepted into National Honors Society was the last news I ever thought to hear. Ms. Brehaut assured me my grade point average was an excellent 3.369 (above the required 3.33). I never received a detention or was reprimanded in anyway throughout my high school career. I was acknowledged with high honors my sophomore year and first term of junior year. So I didn’t quite comprehend why I was being punished until she informed me it was due to that errant “D” that came back to haunt me. And I’m not the only one; there are many other students who cannot get into NHS due to one “D.”

There was an endless amount of names, names of students that were brilliant and strived for excellence and academic achievements, but names that meant absolutely nothing to the National Honors Society. Names that were not considered “elite” or the best because of one term grade they ever received throughout their high school career. Because of one grade, all their success in the eyes of NHS vanished and everything else they worked so hard for didn’t matter, and that’s exactly what happened with me.

The National Honors Society vows that they will not accept any students that received any term grade lower than a 70, regardless if the class is standard or honors, anything lower than a 70 from any term in your high school career, and you won’t get a second chance ever again, which in my opinion, is far from fair.

The National Honors Society doesn’t have any room for leeway or flaws. They sit there and set these standards that they believe the most so called “elite” students obtain, and they judge not the person you are and your work ethics, but rather pick away at every single little flaw.

How can you judge someone off a term grade they received so long ago? I understand if they were to take the final grade and it was a D , or if bad grades were a habit, then do not let them into NHS. I one hundred percent understand and agree with that, but because of one term grade, out of roughly28 term grades a year, 112 term grades throughout all your high school years… I really do not understand.

There’s so many aspects that need to really be taken into consideration; a child’s outside life beyond school can leave them in situations that may cause them to slip one term, but it was not constant, and no matter what happened that term, it probably killed them to know they let their academics go. For someone that got one D throughout their whole high school career after repeatedly earning A’s, can’t you see that something must have happened, and that it killed them inside to even think of a D,which I know from experience, trust me.

But to all those other kids that are inducted, I give them a full congratulations, because they worked so hard for so long to get where they are now, and they deserve the acknowledgement, they really do. Even to those kids that don’t have to work at it and it comes naturally, that’s a true blessing that should be cherished.

But for the boy or girl  like me who only missed it by one term grade freshman year, just remember, it doesn’t mean we didn’t try, it doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a congratulations. It just means we won’t have that yellow sash at graduation to show everyone our accomplishments, and that we’re not able to say we are a part of the National Honors Society. But it doesn’t mean we do not have accomplishments and goals we still want to fulfill, because we do, and we should never give up anything. Just because we can’t show others our greatness due to NHS’s standards, shouldn’t tear us down, as long as we know it within, then that’s all that matters.