Publicizing honor rolls invades privacy, parent tells Red Hook Board of Education
RED HOOK, N.Y. — Publicizing the names of students on school honor rolls is an unwelcome intrusion into private lives, a parent has complained to the Board of Education.
At a board meeting last week, Emily Houpt said school officials district get permission before identifying students who received high grades.
“I absolutely object to students’ academic records being put in the newspaper or making it public ... in terms of honor rolls or anything,” she said.
“Nobody got my permission to put my daughter’s grades in the newspaper,” Houpt added. “It’s a private issue.”
The Freeman routinely publishes honor rolls provided by secondary schools in the region but does not list individual students’ grades.
Red Hook school officials did not respond to Houpt’s comments.
Another parent, Ruth Oxenberg, told board members that the public recognition helps students feel good about their achievements.
“I have kids in the middle school, and even at that level, knowing that there are honors-levels classes they can participate in gives them something they can strive for,” she said. “Even something as simple as the principal’s honor roll that gets published in the newspaper is a form of recognition that motivates the kids.”
Houpt, however, said the Red Hook district is small enough that students who don’t receive recognition may be considered to be performing poorly.
“By publishing who’s doing well, you are also advertising, perhaps, who’s not doing well,” she said. “I think it’s bad for the community. I think it pits parents against parents. Teachers do not want their test scores put in the newspaper. ... I don’t think we should do it to students.” Continued...
Houpt said education should not be considered a competition and grades deserve the same privacy protection as tax records.
“If a parent and a student give their permission to have their test scores in the paper or their academic achievement in the paper, great, go for it,” she said. “It’s not that I want to discourage academic achievement, but I don’t think it’s good for the community.”
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