Credit: Screen grab
NFL Star Schools Principal That Got Rid of ‘Valedictorian’ Because It’s Too ‘Competitive’

NFL Star Schools Principal That Got Rid of ‘Valedictorian’ Because It’s Too ‘Competitive’

“People are too soft.”

NFL quarterback Baker Mayfield let loose on an Ohio high school for getting rid of valedictorian and salutatorian honors over fears the awards would stress the “mental health” of students.

Taking to Twitter to voice his frustration, Mayfield called the move “dumb” and pointed out that “competition” can “bring out the best in people”.

“People are too soft,” Mayfield added.

According to a report last week by WLWT5, Mason High School in Ohio decided to drop the valedictorian and salutatorian distinctions in an attempt to “reduce the overall competitive culture” between students.

The school announced the change will take effect next school year, when a switch to awarding groups of students will be implemented ahead of the 2020 graduation.

“It’s about what it means to be happy and what it means to be successful and it’s not just about the grade but it’s about the whole child,” Associate Principal Shanna Bumiller told WLWT5.

“We are moving to a recognition system eliminating valedictorian and salutatorian honors, and shifting to recognizing students who have achieved outstanding academic success through a multitude of pathways,” added Mason Principal Bobby Dodd. “The recognition system will reward our students for genuine academic success based on their academic accomplishments. This will help reduce the overall competitive culture at MHS to allow students to focus on exploring learning opportunities that are of interest to them.”

Instead of awarding students as individuals, Dodd said the school will switch to the Latin honors system.

Students with a GPA of 4.00 and above will be designated summa cum laude, while students with a GPA between 3.75 and 3.99 will be designated magna cum laude. Students with a GPA between 3.51 to 3.74 will be designated as simply cum laude.

But the move apparently didn’t sit well with Mayfield, who might know a thing or two about the benefits of “competitive culture”. Forced to walk-on to the national powerhouse Oklahoma Sooners’ football team, Mayfield’s fiery competitiveness helped him quickly move up the depth chart and grab the starting job. By his senior year, he became the first and only walk-on player to win the coveted Heisman Trophy, college football’s most prestigious honor.

Selected first overall in last year’s NFL draft, Mayfield’s competitive edge led to him being named the Browns starting quarterback shortly into his rookie season, where he would go on to be awarded Rookie of the Year honors.

Mayfield’s tweet blasting the Ohio High School quickly went viral, garnering over 242,000 likes and 52,000 retweets.

The story comes amid growing debate about how the nation’s youth are being prepared for the future. Critics contend that schools are creating a “snowflake” culture that deprives students of opportunities to face adversity and leaves them unprepared for the realities of adulthood.

Cover image: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (Screen grab)



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