'My kid might have made the honor roll, if there were one'

Apparently in Nashville, Tenn., it is not enough for people whose kids don't make the honor roll to buy one of those bumper stickers that reads, "My kid beat up your honor roll student."
No, in Nashville, the parents of the students who weren't on the A-list went whining to the school board about how their little underachievers were being unfairly stigmatized by a system that recognizes -- horrors! -- excellence.
Maybe honor roll parents should get bumper stickers that read, "My honor roll student made your slacker cry."
In Garrison Keillor's make believe world, all the Lake Wobegon kids are above average. In Nashville, none are allowed to be above average, or if they are, the good news has to be kept under a bucket.
Honors be damned
An Associated Press story reported Sunday that all Nashville schools have stopped posting honor rolls, and some are also considering a ban on hanging good work in the hallways -- all at the advice of school lawyers.
After a few parents complained that their children might be ridiculed for not making the list, Nashville school system lawyers warned that state privacy laws forbid releasing any academic information, good or bad, without permission.
Gee, one story that includes hypersensitive parents intent on shielding their little darlings from anything that might damage their self-esteem and nitpicking lawyers who are so intent on protecting their clients from any possible exposure that they are willing to throw common sense to the wind. What more could an editorial writer want? How about a school board that didn't have the guts to tell the parents and the lawyers shut up and sit down.
Permission slips
Instead, the board has school administrators falling all over themselves trying to comply with a new interpretation of a law that has been on the books since 1970. Some schools are abandoning academic pep rallies. Others are considering canceling spelling bees. And, meanwhile, 60,000 permission slips are being sent to the parents of the district's students asking for permission to recognize the good work of their children. That's a brilliant use of time and resources.
Are the city's athlete's playing with paper bags on their heads and numberless uniforms? Are all the spectators required to wear bags over their heads? How else to protect those students who didn't make the team from doubting their athletic adequacy? Of course that's silly. But no more so than eliminating honor rolls, stripping the walls of good papers and treating students who do good work as pariahs.
A backlash is developing from parents of high-performing students, and perhaps the school board will regain its sanity in the not-too-distant future.
We hope they do so before June. Otherwise there are going to be some very unconventional commencements, what with all the graduates wearing masks and no names being announced, lest the dropouts be offended.