Declaration of the Removal of the National Honor Society
I declare that the National Honor Society is an ineffective means of motivating students and therefore should be removed from high schools.
The National Honor Society (NHS) discourages students and decreases their self-esteem, among many other negative influences. The NHS is a nationwide program in high schools.Students are inducted into the NHS based on the following criteria: The student maintains a certain grade point average.The student has a certain amount of volunteer hours.The student’s behavior record is clear of infractions.The student is a leader in his/her extracurricular activities.
The student exemplifies the four pillars of the NHS: character, scholarship, leadership, and service.For the most part though, the NHS is based on grades, and there are a number of problems with this. The NHS is a big deal, too big of a deal, in fact. Once a year, schools around the country have assemblies during which new members of the NHS are inducted.During these assemblies, the chosen students are exalted and the other students are told that they must strive to achieve such great strides as their peers in the NHS.The chosen students are presented as model citizens, ideals to which the other students must aspire.
Some students are unable to achieve NHS status because of situations at home that prevent them from participating in numerous extracurricular programs.Still other students work very hard, but their hardest work may not equal a perfect grade.NHS makes students like these feel undesirable and unappreciated, whereas hard work should be valued, no matter the outcome.The NHS is supposed to encourage students to work harder, but in reality it is very discouraging.For some students, meeting the criteria for the NHS is impossible and they are discouraged from trying altogether.They feel as if they will never be recognized so they simply abandon hope.
High school is supposed to prepare students for real life, but NHS is very unrealistic.In life, the goal of working hard is not a trophy, but rather the satisfaction that comes from hard work.In life, the people who are successful are not only those who do well naturally, but also those who work diligently even if they struggle.These kinds of students have no place in the NHS and go largely unrecognized by their schools. Another issue with NHS is the unreasonable amount of pressure it puts on students.There is not only pressure to perform well academically, but also to conform.
These pressures run rampant in high schools and there is no reason that schools need to increase their frequency and importance.The NHS is trying to mold all students into academic robots.It pressures students into conforming instead of encouraging them to excel at what they value.It tells students that certain qualities are to be valued more than others, which is not the case.Students who do not reach the criteria for the NHS are made to feel inferior.This decreases students self esteem.
Students already have anxieties and pressures placed on them in a regular school setting and the NHS increases this to a level of unhealthy competition that is degrading to students’ mental and emotional wellbeing. The NHS is supposedly based on the four pillars of character, scholarship, leadership, and service, but truly it is based upon grades.Even if a student exemplifies all of the qualities, if that student doesn’t make the grade, he or she does not make it into the NHS.The NHS is publicized more than any other awards ceremony in schools.It is made into a much bigger deal than it should be, which makes the ensuing problems much larger as well.It pressures students into conforming instead of encouraging them to excel at what they value.
School should be a positive learning environment for every student and the NHS takes away from that.Grades are not an adequate method of selecting students for a program that professes to be based upon other factors and no high school student deserves to be put down because he or she does not meet these very subjective standards.