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**jdazmum** 05-17-2005 07:44 PM

Denied a valedictorian
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-RIGHT: 10px; PADDING-LEFT: 15px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px" vAlign=bottom width=239>This is a touchy issue....view full story on MSN.com

Anorexic student denied valedictorian title


By<SCRIPT type=text/javascript>document.write("");</SCRIPT> Janet Shamlian<SCRIPT type=text/javascript>document.write('');</SCRIPT>
NBC News
Updated: 12:51 p.m. ET May 17, 2005

KINGWOOD, Texas - Karen Scherr is the top academic student in her class at Kingwood High School in the Houston area, and she has been for the past four years.

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</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>But when the 18-year-old receives her diploma this month, she’ll do so without the title just about everyone expected her to have: valedictorian.

Kingwood High school has handed that honor to another student, saying Scherr doesn’t qualify for the award.

“I was disappointed,” said Scherr. “I’d hoped the rule would not have to be enforced.”

Attendance record negates academic record
Scherr was referring to a requirement that the school’s valedictorian be enrolled in classes by the 20th day of their junior year.

It’s a rule aimed at keeping students from other schools from transferring into Kingwood late in their high school careers to claim one of the coveted top 10 academic spots.

Scherr’s been in the Kingwood school system since kindergarten. But she wasn’t enrolled in her high school on that 20th day of her junior year.

Instead, she was in a treatment facility seeking help for the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa.

“I was sick. That’s part of the disorder,” said Scherr. “It’s a mental disease.”

While the school warned the Scherr family of their strict attendance policy, her parents made the decision to keep her hospitalized in Oklahoma until her medical treatment was complete a few weeks later.

Through it all, she kept up her class work and stayed at the top of her class despite her illness.

AngelFeather 05-17-2005 07:51 PM


Blackbear 05-17-2005 09:35 PM

very touchy to say the least.. but her parents made the right decision... and it IS an illness, she should'nt have to be faulted for that.

Hinu Star 05-17-2005 10:05 PM

What the...
That's so dumb! I can't imagine why the school board felt so strongly about their decision. I feel they should have made an exception for her. After all, she was hospitalized. Would they rather her condition worsen?
She earned that honor.

badmaninc 05-18-2005 12:51 AM

Dude, that will do wonders for her self-confidence. What some people won't do.

Plenty Fox 05-18-2005 11:53 AM

Karen Scherr has learned a very important life lesson from this: don't rely on the approbation of others to build your own self esteem and it directly relates to her eating disorder. Individuals with eating disorders look in the mirror and see an image that they have come to believe is not considered attractive, based on whatever the standard of the day is. Young girls, in particular, want to fit in and be popular. Once they start the binging and purging their whole metabolism gets screwed up and they are no longer in control--sort of a reverse addiction. I hope her counselors help her see the parallel between her eating disorder and the decision of the School Board; she needs to practice self-love and acceptance and not rely on the opinion of others to reflect her worth.

SingingDeer 05-18-2005 12:24 PM

There's no <B>Reason</B> she should have been denied... it sounds like the school board was looking for an <U>excuse</U>.... how sad. I hope this doesn't blow her self esteem all to pieces for not getting the title she deserves.

~pathwalker~ 05-18-2005 12:45 PM

All these NO EXCEPTION rules in our school system have got to go... I believe that all incidents should be viewed as unique. The shools have adopted this policy as LAW and now 5 year olds get arrested...how sad...

Emmy 05-18-2005 12:45 PM

and because that is a disorder i would think that if the parents wanted to, they could take it to the courts if they wanted to press the issue

Plenty Fox 05-18-2005 01:54 PM

The REAL WORLD is full of 'no exceptions'. It's better she learn now and not expect special treatment in life.

tsalagigirl 05-18-2005 01:58 PM

daaayuuum, that is sad. She overcame a serious problem and rose to the top and is being denied the honor. The school should really review these things on a case-by-case basis.

injunboy 05-18-2005 02:02 PM

i want to go with the gurls side but i cant. rules are rules. a least she has her health and grades.

~pathwalker~ 05-18-2005 02:38 PM


Originally Posted by Plenty Fox & Proud
The REAL WORLD is full of 'no exceptions'. It's better she learn now and not expect special treatment in life.

I didn't realize I put NO EXCEPTION until I read your post, What I was thinking and ment to put was Zero Tolerence. The world may be full of no exception but some things just are not RIGHT. You have to agree that a 7 year old being aressted for bringing scissors to school when the mom was told to send them is just wrong and what about the 5 year old that was arrested because the teacher felt "in DANGER," because the little girl was upset and the teacher had to weigh 250 lbs. I think they have lost their minds these teachers and principles. I do agree with some decisions but ones that you know are just wrong are the ones at issue...

Blackbear 05-18-2005 03:37 PM

You know.. if teachers feel endangered by their grade school students.. then maybe the state should pay for mandt or NVCI courses for their teachers. I can understand how one could feel endangered by a 5 year old only because I've seen children with various disorders and your own natural instincts tell you not to defend yourself because your mind is saying.. .THIS IS JUST A CHILD. It's very confusing and frustrating. If you think.. well if my child was coming at me with a knife, you'd probably go 0-60 mad and snatch that kid by thier hair, take away the knife and whoop some butt...but if it's not your kid, what would you do? I've had a kid come at me with a stick before... I admit, I freaked out cause the kid was 4 and just avoided the kid as best as possible.

~pathwalker~ 05-18-2005 03:43 PM

I agree but I saw the video of it, this woman was not frightened. She was in no danger at all. The girl was throwing a fit BUT it could of been handled better. if it wasn't outrageous of the teacher and the police then it probably wouldn't of made the news...know what I mean?

Privateer6 05-19-2005 08:18 AM

The problem with the violent kid at school school situation is that there is now no way a teacher can truly punish as student. When I worked with ajudicated youth in GA we had go beserk swinging a tree branch at the other kids in the group and going after the teacher. All the teachers are trained in how to do restraints and when to do so. This was a case in which it was proper to do a restraint. The parents of this kid, when they found out that he was restrained reported the program to the state and threatened a lawsuit.

What I am trying to say is that it's gottento the point in public schools that their is no respect for teachers: not from the parents nor the students. The ability to punish students; suspension, placing them in special learning facilities, etc has been taken away or severly limited. The worst part is that it affects those students who want to learn becasue it casues disruptions in the class. Grant you this isn't everywhere, yet, however the probelm is growing and expanding. Hell I even see it in a few of my 20-30 year old adult students who expect to pass the class with an A without doing the work and then complain when I give them the grade they really deserve.

~pathwalker~ 05-19-2005 10:39 AM

OK once again I agree with all points made by you GJJudd but is there anybody that thinks that there are cases when there should be attention paid to the situation and the child? Does every offence have to be met eith zero tolerence? I don't agree with that. It is fine that the student's that do certain things be punished, even severly, I am not saying not to. What I mean is this example, of my own son in kindergarten.
My son had his medicine bag around his neck, a teacher asked him (in kindergarten,) what it was. He replied that it was his medicine bag and she took it from him and dumped out the contents on her desk. If that wasn't bad enough, they then wanted to suspend him for ten days because of a weapon,(an arrowhead,) due to their Zero Tolerence rules. I fought and had it removed from his record but he has a scar from it, a mental scar. Now do you think what that teacher and principle did was right? I DON'T.

tradish_wiyan 05-19-2005 11:51 AM

The issue of not being valedictiorian because of anorexia is a touchy issue. The policy stated that if a student missed XX amount of days, then they would not be selected for valedictorian. The bottom line is she missed the days from school. *Harsh, but true*. Thats what the policy is for. It is up to the parents of the student to change the policy.

Now heres another thing to ponder. How can a student in special education all throughout high school become a valedictorian? That happens in the small rural schools. There are many flaws in the educational system. But for as many flaws there are...there are many successes in the education system. Parents and teachers need to work together to straghten this mess out.

CJTurtle 05-19-2005 12:05 PM

ok ok , have to make everyone mad at me. I understand the young lady had the grades, but does anyone know about this person who had to stay in school and work for thoses grades too, that didn't have a eating disorder? Uno the one who ended up with it. Eating disorder is something that is brought on by not loving oneself so who would you use as a good example? Its just a thought............

~pathwalker~ 05-19-2005 12:14 PM

My son is classified as SE, every since 2nd grade, but he has worked his butt off to get to where he is today. He is in 11th grade now. I don't know how someone in SE would even be eligible for it. I didn't know she was SE. However if they told her she was getting it and then denied it because she missed registration, does anyone know how many days she missed it by? She did keep up with the work from the hospital didn't she? What if she had a broken leg?

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