Moorestown High’s would-be co-valedictorian is suing, claiming a right to share academic honors with a classmate who got to take more classes with weighted grades because she claimed a chronic fatigue-like disorder required her to study at home with tutors.
Kimberly Swygert wraps up the latest on the valedictorian flap, and looks at the question of whether Blair Hornstine is really disabled or just playing the system. It sounds like chronic fatigue syndrome is linked to stress, depression and “nerves.” Judging from what I’ve read about Hornstine’s father, this girl is under enormous pressure to be the perfect student. I’d bet her symptoms of fatigue are very real, whatever one thinks of the disability label and its attendant privileges.
I went to a very good suburban high school, but college admission was less competitive then, and we were much mellower about it. I don’t remember a lot of competition to be valedictorian: By the time class ranks were announced, everyone was in somewhere. The top students did quite well in later life; even our mediocre students did fine. The big winners were reasonably smart and reasonably sane — not stressed to the gills by the need to be perfect.