Should Graduation Cords Be Limited to Academic Achievements?

By Elizabeth Rice

Graduation cords should not be limited to only academic achievements. There are currently only two cords. The white cord represents a GPA of 4.0 and above, and the gold cord represents a GPA of 3.5 and above.

While it is important to recognize students academically, there are other recognizations that should be made such as leadership, service, and extracurricular activities. High school is more than classes. It’s also about involvement and making new connections.

This should be shown at graduation. More honor cords will show a variety of colors and diversity of accomplishments on graduation. This will also encourage more students to get involved.

Students who work hard in helping out in the community, participating in activities through the school, and in general putting in much effort and time into events should be acknowledged.

Other agreeing opinions:

Mrs. Marshall (the inspiration for this article): “I believe that students should be given the opportunity to earn a cord in academics as well as other areas including CTE (Career and Technical Education), the arts, and clubs in which they excel. By recognizing a variety of clubs, academic, and career and technical related areas, we are recognizing that all of these areas are important in the development of a child’s school experience.”

Bailey Marshall: “There is more than high school than your academic performance. Being a good student means being well rounded and being involved within your school and community, not just going to classes and acing tests. Extracurricular cords provide an opportunity for well rounded students to showcase what they have done that is meaningful to them during the time in high school.”

Erin Walker: “I think the honor cords are a great way to showcase the other achievements of the student body instead of just their grades. I think every club and varsity sport athletes should hand them out.”

Megan Hill: “I think that cords for service, leadership, and extra curricular activities would be a good way to recognize all of the time and effort people put into them. Not everyone excels academically but still deserve to be recognized for their hard work.”

Meaghan Hix: “I think they are good because it shows people that you can achieve whatever you want if you put your mind to it. Also it may make some people feel better about themselves.”

Jessie Rocha: “Yes there should be more opportunity to get a cord.”

Adaline Bisese: “Maybe sports, if you did more than a specified number.”

Summer Williamson: “I think cords are small, yet effective symbols of accomplishments. They show the interests, achievements, and success of students, and it would be great if they offered a wider array of cords.”

Lexxi Bursey: “I feel that community service volunteers in our community and high school student body should be more recognized for their willingness to give back to the community; however volunteering is something you do out of the kindness of your heart, and shouldn’t just be done for the opportunity of recognition. Graduation cords for extra curricular classes and courses would be a good addition; however you have to pay already for the National Honor Society cord as is, I feel all cords should be free to the student who completed these classes and serve solely as a recognition for the student in whatever field it might be.”

Ben Rice: “I think having honor cords is very important as leadership and activities are just as academics. Having more cords I think would be a good way to show that there are other ways to succeed than just with grades. It also honors people that might not make the greatest grades but still do an exceptional job in other areas. However, that doesn’t mean grades shouldn’t be recognized as acknowledgement is important. I think having a number of cords for both is just as important.”

Cheyanne Forson: “I think that is nice for recognition of hard work, but in general not the best investment. After the graduation. Besides you and maybe some friends people aren’t going to remember what colors you were wearing. To some though that might be important to them since they see it as an image thing like how athletes feel about their letter jackets. The different cords besides academic is a good idea since it shows students who have other skills and interests than specific gpa.”

Disagreeing opinions:

Maggie Stickler: “No, that’s why we have varsity letters.”

Colleen Peery: “I think the cords are a neat traditions that they have. I think it is a good way to show off your achievements and show everyone what you have done. I am not sure on the difference in them, but I know that it takes hard work to get them and you can get all sorts of colors depending on what you all have done! I don’t think clubs and sports should have cords too because then kids who are super active and did a lot of things would have a tone to wear at graduation, and it might look tacky.”