The parents of high school graduate Elisha Marquez are mad. Their daughter got into Stanford. She received a coveted engineering internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The 18-year-old also nabbed a scholarship from the Gates Millennium Scholars program. She got straight A’s in school and had a top-notch GPA of 4.50. With all these amazing accomplishments and accolades, why would her parents be upset? Because Elisha did not have the honor of being named valedictorian for the graduating class at Eagle Rock High School in California. That honor went to Jasmine Fernandez, who had a GPA of 4.55. Elisha’s parents aren’t happy that Jasmine inched out their daughter for class valedictorian and now they are thinking about suing the school.
Elisha’s parents were not content with having to settle for salutatorian. Elisha’s mother, Carol, is very much bothered by this, saying that all her daughter’s “sleepless nights” were “for nothing.” Really? Didn’t she get into Stanford and an internship at NASA? Last time I looked, that was far from nothing. “It’s flawed. It’s wrong,” Carol told the Los Angeles Times. “All her hard work is not being recognized. All she had was straight A’s. Not a B, ever.” The family sees this as an “injustice” and have written letters to the California Department of Education and caused a stink with other school officials.
They are mostly upset that the senior’s final semester grades aren’t calculated into the GPA that is used to select the valedictorian. “They’re robbing the students of the credit,” her dad Nelson said. “If you know in your heart you did your best, what else can you do? It’s based on the system that you’re ranked lower, not based on achievement.”
They addressed what other parents might think about their belly aching, saying, “They’re not in the situation. You don’t want your kid to be a loser. That’s what they’re basically saying. Be a loser.” Yes, a loser who is off to Stanford and NASA.
Do you think this family is totally overreacting?