School eliminates valedictorian honor to improve students' mental health

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MASON, Ohio (WILX) - A high school in Mason, Ohio announced Thursday that it is eliminating valedictorian and salutatorian recognition. School officials say it hopes the change will help improve students' mental wellness. But not everyone in the community thinks it's a good idea.

When Samantha Segerman found out her alma mater was doing away with these titles that matter to so many she was stunned.

"That's so surprising to me," said Segerman, a Mason High School Alumnae." For nothing else, these kids have worked since their freshmen year. Some since 8th grade."

Her brother is a junior at Mason High. Their mother, Sue Segerman, worries for some students in her son's class, all of their hard work will be for nothing.

"I think that will upset some of the junior class right now," said
Sue Segerman. "If they've been working hard, pushing hard, as a goal, and then that gets pulled out under your feet... That sort of stinks for the junior class right now."

The removal of valedictorian and salutatorian titles, along with a GPA change, are moves the school district hopes will improve students' mental wellness, such as moving to a five point weighted credit scale from a four point scale.

Critics are worried it could have a negative impact, taking away drive and motivation.

"Almost un-motivate people I guess because there's not something to work towards to be the valedictorian," said Samantha Segerman.

Students will continue to be recognized using the Latin Honors System, with students earning a 4.0 GPA or above as summa cum laude.

These changes will go into affect next school year.

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