An Ohio lawmaker introduced a bill Monday that would require public high schools to name a valedictorian, in response to one school's decision to abolish singling out top grade earners in graduating classes.
State Rep. Niraj Antani, a Republican, said not honoring academic achievers is a slippery slope to getting rid of grades completely.
“Getting rid of valedictorian is the first step in getting rid of grades, getting rid of GPA’s, class rank and so that I think is very bad and we hear about millennials being entitled and perhaps lazy. Well it’s a result of decisions like this," Antani told the Statehouse News Bureau.
"Look, students are going to face much larger pressures later in their life -- in business, in medical school or law school, in college," said Niraj, WLWT-TV reported. "I think this is a major issue. I think that rewarding and keeping highly talented, highly achieving academic students in the state of Ohio is in the state's interest."
The bill comes weeks after Mason High School near Cincinnati said it would do away with valedictorians and salutatorians in an effort to "reduce the overall competitive culture," school officials said.
The school will instead use the Latin honor system - cum laude, summa cum laude and magna cum laude -- in place at many colleges and universities.
"We really believe this is a decision that is best made at the local level, instead of from Columbus," said Tracey Carson, a spokesperson for Mason City Schools.