Daily Archives: June 6, 2005

"I obtained this distinction legally…"

Aiee! Students are suing to be named valedictorian!. I wonder when we’ll start seeing people suing to get literary and scientific prizes or research grants. I can just imagine: “Physicist sues NSF for wrongful rejection of grant request.” Maybe he can also get his dad to beat up the NSF’s dad while he’s at it.

What we’re talking about are not people suing for gross lack of fairness in the selection process but people who were not able to clearly get ahead of the other students, that were actually in a tie or even scored a little lower than other students, and in the end had to rely on lawsuits to get things to go their way. I’ve been in the position of being ranked second by a process that involved some arbitrariness and, yes, it’s disapointing and sometimes you’ve got to wonder about the fairness of the system (and that opens a big can of worms) but I must say that I don’t find the decision of launching a legal battle particularly endearing. Especially for an honor as useless as valedictorian.