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School's exclusive pizza, dance party for straight-A students garners mixed feelings

A Maryland middle school is holding a dance and pizza party complete with a DJ and a game room for students who earned straight A's.

Students who got B’s and C’s are invited to attend the party once classes are over, and pizza is no longer being served. Students with lower grades are not invited at all, The Washington Post reported.

According to the newspaper’s report, 306 students of the school's 865 students are being left out of the party.

The “Academic Achievement Celebration” at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring is scheduled to start during the final period of the school day.

The event has reportedly garnered mix feelings among parents with some questioning if an exclusive party was the right way to honor the students.

“The students that don’t get to go end up feeling bad,” Karen Hanlon, a parent whose daughter has learning disabilities and was excluded from the party told The Washington Post.

But the school’s PTSA president Chris Rutledge said he feels the event encourages excellence. “I think it’s a twofold process: The school has to, and does, help all children to strive to excel,” Rutledge told The Washington Post. “And when they do, it’s important to recognize them,” he said.

Montgomery school officials told the newspaper principals have discretion about these types of events. The school’s principal, Casey Crouse, said the intention is “a congratulations and an incentive.”

“The intention is not to make those who didn’t achieve feel badly,” Crouse said.

However, Barbara Marinak, an associate professor who studies student motivation, said the party "creates a caste system that could easily result in bullying and victimization," according to The Washington Post. 

But Crouse added that the school has different ways to recognize students for different qualities. The school reportedly honored students who reached levels of academic improvement with a certificate and a snack earlier in the week.

Click for more from The Washington Post.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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