There's been a lot of talk recently about how parents and schools are coddling children far too much in this generation. Many feel there are too many 'participation' awards and not enough recognition for hard work out of fear of hurting other, less successful students feelings.
After his son's school decided to do away with having a Valedictorian at their high school graduation, Garry Allmon decided to take matters in to his own hands. Allmon, who lives in Wake County, NC, purchased a billboard where he recognized his son Josh for his hard work and excellent grades with "Congrats Josh Allmon. You Will Always Be Our Valedictorian" written in giant letters.
"East Wake High School and Wake County Public School Board may not recognize Josh's hard work, but we will," wrote Garry. "Please, if you are on 264 heading east towards Zebulon, take time to take a look at the big digital billboard just pass the East Wake exit."
The honor of class Valedictorian used to go to the the seniors with the two highest grade-point averages in their graduating class. According to The News & Observer the school decided to end naming a valedictorian in 2016 in hopes it eliminate "unhealthy competition."
The Allmon family feels that Josh should be recognized for all his hard work, even if the school doesn't agree.
According to his family, Josh had the highest GPA of all 270 students in his graduating class.
"It shows up on my transcript as No. 1,” he told WRAL.com. “Being friends with everyone, I know that it's about two-tenths of a GPA point."
His father noted that Josh had a GPA of 5.31, played extra-curricular sports and was also president of two honor societies. All the qualities a school should want in their valedictorian.
Josh issued his own statement on Twitter, acknowledging that the billboard was more than just a pat on the back for a stellar year, but how doing away with having a valedictorian is hurting students, rather than helping them.
It’s impossible to compete on the national stage when your accomplishments are limited by the system you have no choice but to come through. New policies are aimed at making everyone feel as if they achieved equally; this is simply not the case. Some people simple work harder.— Joshua Allmon (@joshua_allmon) June 5, 2018
While his school many not have named him official Valedictorian, it's clear it was an honor he would have earned.
✅5.31 GPA— Joshua Allmon (@joshua_allmon) June 12, 2018
✅All-Conference in 2 sports
✅Beta Club President
✅Had job senior year
✅450 community service hours
✅NC State Chancellors Leadership Scholar
✅College tuition paid for
✅ First in my class
His father's billboard, which cost approximately $1800, will stay up until the day of Josh's graduation ceremy.
Comments on Allmon's Facebook page were overwhelmingly positive, with many congratulating the father for showing recognition where it was due.
"I am so tired of the everyone gets a trophy mentality that our kids must live with. The real working world is hard. Kids need to learn that early," wrote one commenter.
"We need to recognize our students for excellency. We need to allow those who work hard for their future careers to not go unrecognized. Even though some students came close second, banning the valedictorian recognition is baffling," wrote another.
Josh will attend North Carolina State University in the fall and plans to study chemical engineering and paper science engineering with a minor in business.