, Salem, MA

Local News

March 23, 2013

Ipswich principal stands by decision to end honors night

IPSWICH — Ipswich Middle School Principal David Fabrizio is standing by the school’s controversial decision to cancel the long-standing annual honors night.

The debate over the cancellation of what many call a tradition in town has gone viral across the country, being posted all over the Internet, discussed on regional talk radio and was even picked up by several national news outlets. Some claim the decision “dumbs down education” or is the “destruction of the American educational system.”

Fabrizio has said instead of an exclusive evening ceremony like in years past the honors students will now be recognized at the end-of-the-year assembly in front of the entire student body.

Fabrizio said he has a “file full of emails” in support of the decision.

“It is a sound educational decision,” Fabrizio said. “There are some people who disagree, but for the most part the emails I got are supporting this change.”

A petition started by several eighth-grade students swirled around the hallways in the days after the announcement was made to try to get the school administration to reinstate the special night. Fabrizio said he talked to the two female students who presented the petition to him.

“As a history teacher, I thought it was a great learning experience they collected the petition. It was well-written,” Fabrizio said. “They told me why they still wanted honors night. They love to be celebrated, dress up and be honored by their parents.”

He said after meeting the two students warmed up to the changes.

“We told them why we wanted it changed, and they liked the idea. They saw the usefulness of being honored in front of peers,” Fabrizio said. “I think the problem with the kids was they didn’t think they were going to be honored anymore.”

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