Plano Wrong

Graduating students at Plano High School in Texas whose high grades and community service earned them membership in the National Honor Society will be prohibited from wearing any symbol of their achievement at this ceremony.

Yes, Political Correctness is apparently behind this. Such insignia might make students who fell short of this honor feel left out.


Welcome to the new America, once a meritocracy that rewarded accomplishment but that now no longer keeps score at baseball games and gives everybody “participation” trophies. Winners must not be elevated above losers, lest the losers get hurt feelings.


And, anyway, the winners “did not build that,” as President Barack Obama famously said. They are, in the Progressive phrase, “just winners in life’s lottery.”

Progressives have insisted that Darwin be taught in high school classrooms, along with its implicit message that we are not created by God but by billions of years of biological evolution. Evolution determines that the “fittest” triumphed; survival is not a random lottery.

Darwinian evolution also meant that the losers usually became extinct, that winning in competition with others is a very serious set of skills to learn.

As this columnist has written many times before, look how crazy our government socialist schools have become.

They insist on teaching Darwin, even though this violates Separation of Church and State by dogmatically telling students that the creation stories of their holy scriptures are false, and implicitly that the white-robed priests of science are the new ruling religion.

But, paradoxically, these haughty Progressives also insist that Darwinian competition – winning and losing and outward signs that we are not equal in skills or effort – be banished from the school playground….and now from graduation ceremonies.

The children sheltered from responsibility and hurt feelings will soon go out into the real world. Most will be seeking jobs from those who achieved in high school….and will pay a steep price for being coddled by utopian socialist schools.

I once saw a man taking parking tickets off car windshields along a street. Why, I asked, was he doing this? “To spare people the pain of getting these tickets,” he replied, thinking of himself as a good Samaritan. It apparently never occurred to him that when these people failed to pay on time a ticket they never saw, the government would hit them with stiff penalties and perhaps arrest warrants.

Sparing people the pain of reality can do far more harm than good in the long run. Whatever happened to the mission of schools to teach children the skills needed to succeed in the real world? In a Progressive future where all will be dependents of the government, its schools apparently now think such skills unimportant.

I, however, feel an even deeper anger at the Plano school denying a symbol of honor to graduates who worked the hardest. I believe this denial is a crime.

Those chosen for the National Honor Society are not only the brightest and hardest working students. Most are also born into subcultures where books, learning and top grades are highly respected. Almost stereotypically, Asian-Americans and Jewish Americans grow up in such subcultures.

By disparate impact, therefore, Plano’s action disproportionately denies due honor and recognition to Asian-Americans and Jews. Plano’s discrimination against academic achievers is therefore not noble. It is racist and anti-Semitic.

Plano’s arrogant action probably violates U.S. civil rights statutes. It ought to be sued.

Even more serious examples of such discrimination exist. One scholar told me that the University of California has quotas limiting the number of Asian-Americans it admits.

The reason: Asian-Americans earn such high grade levels and test scores that, if not limited by quotas, the student body admitted solely by merit at University of California campuses would soon be 95 percent Asian-American.

Politically Correct egalitarian social engineering Progressives have always hated meritocracy. They need to read Darwin to see what happens when societies ignore reality and try living in utopian fantasy. They are playing Russian roulette with America’s future.

What can wise parents do? If Progressives cannot be removed from positions of social responsibility, then consider today’s popular saying among realistic parents:

“Teach your children Spanish and your grandchildren Chinese.”

This will prepare our brightest offspring for the future Progressives are creating.
The opinions in this piece are solely Lowell Ponte’s. He was for 15 years a Roving Editor at Reader’s Digest and has covered stories in 33 countries, from Jerusalem to Jakarta, Havana to The Hague, Madrid to Mexico City, and Singapore to Paris.

Lowell is author or co-author of seven books – the latest, with monetary expert Craig R. Smith, being We Have Seen the Future and It Looks Like Baltimore: American Dream vs. Progressive Dream.

To schedule an interview with Lowell, contact: Sandy Frazier at or call 516-735-5468


Katherine Timpf, “School Prohibits Students from Wearing National Honor Society Stoles So Others Won’t Feel Left Out,” National Review, June 1, 2016.

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