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Ohio school district defends removing valedictorian, salutatorian honors in effort to improve mental health
An Ohio high school will be eliminating valedictorian and salutatorian honors starting next year in an effort to improve students’ mental wellness. Mason City Schools Superintendent Jonathan Cooper defends the decision on ‘America’s Newsroom.’
The superintendent of an Ohio high school has defended the district's decision to eliminate valedictorian and salutatorian honors in an attempt to improve the mental wellbeing of their students.
Jonathan Cooper said during an appearance on "America's Newsroom" on Monday that a spike in suicides at Mason City high school forced the district to consider the level of unhealthy competition among students and find ways to ease their stress.
"As our community looked at some unhealthy patterns the rise in anxiety and depression and suicide," he said. "It's the second leading cause of death in youth today across America, so we started to look at what we can do as school leaders to make a change."
The elimination of valedictorian and salutatorian will be replaced by honors similar to those in college – summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude. The district also announced they'd be starting classes thirty minutes later.
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