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Frankly Speaking: NHS : Congratulations or Inquiry?

By Nicole Frank
Student at CCHS

“The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students:” This is the first line from the Official National Honor Society ‘About Us’ page. The National Honor Society is a program that brings together students who excel academically in their school. It is not a program about equal representation of the school’s population; it’s a program in which members have worked hard to earn their spot and deserve the place they take within it. Recently, Colleton County School Board member Mr. William Bowman inquired about the lack of boys in the Colleton County High School chapter of NHS and questioned how the chapter selects its members.

The National Honor Society was created to bring the excelling students of our high school together to communicate with and serve our community. It is an honor to be in such a program that rewards you for being academically successful - there are not too many of those programs left. It is a program that pushes you out of your comfort zones and helps you gain leadership experience. Its members are not selected based on the students’ gender, race, or religion. This is a program based on a mutual understanding of not only the importance of academic success but also the importance of the character of a person, the achievement of scholarship and study on a high level, the leadership it takes to be a changing force in a community, and the service it requires of a member. It is not a program that anyone can - or should be allowed to - cakewalk into.

As a current member of the CCHS chapter of NHS, I am aware of the lack of boys currently in NHS, but I am also aware that some males who were invited to join declined the offer - the same with many other students of different genders and races within the school. There are many reasons some decline the invitation to apply to the program: some don’t see the need to be in the program, while others do not feel that they can commit to it, while yet another reason is that there just isn’t enough time. NHS is a time consuming program, requiring 40 hours of service from every student member - the time and commitment level required of students in NHS is immense but rewarding. The issue of the lack of males in the program is not just special to our Colleton County High School chapter - it is seen throughout the nation in other chapters as well. The best of the best are accepted into NHS, and our chapter is currently the largest it has ever been. We just inducted 53 new members into our organization bringing the number of NHS members to 83. It would be nice if the current discussion about the NHS was focused on congratulating these new members and thanking the CCHS NHS program for all the community service provided over the years. I feel as if this conversation about the gender imbalance within the program is distracting from what the program is really about - service, character, scholarship, and leadership.

 

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