Melrose High is a Disgrace

Last night, the Melrose High School Class of 2016 had their graduation ceremonies.  A few changes were made to the celebration, most notably the lack of a Valedictorian.  MHS follows in a line of schools who have made this idiotic change to not honor the student who busted their tail for 4 years to be able to get into the college they want and pursue their dreams.  It robs them of the opportunity to be properly honored for their accomplishments.

Not surprisingly this decision did not go over well with MHS students and the community.  An anonymous 2016 graduate compared the lack of a valedictorian to, “letting a team work hard to get to the championship all season and then at the final moment say there is no game because all the teams did a great job and deserve to be winners”.  Boom.  The students who fight for valedictorian compete for admission into the country’s finest collegiate institutions.  MHS has put recent students into Harvard, Brown, the University of Chicago, and part of that is the drive to be honored with a speech at graduation.

Take it from a former Valedictorian, Jonathan Hori.  After winning the prestigious honor as a 2014 graduate, Hori was admitted to the University of Chicago (Bernie Sanders alma mater), and made a quick note to a potential future goal of being President.  Hori says that although he understands that there are reasons against recognizing a Valedictorian, he is very against MHS’s decision.  Speaking on the matter, he said, “I think this removes a large incentive for top students to work harder than they otherwise would, ultimately reducing their competitiveness in college applications”.  Remember earlier I said fighting for Valedictorian helps the college process?  Well Hori agrees and he actually made it to the top of his class.  Being a Cross-Country teammate of his for 4 years, I had to listen to him babble about looking good for college applications.  Well, it worked out pretty damn well for him.  Hori is currently studying Economics and Math with plans to get a Ph.D. in either of them and potentially going into politics after graduate school.  All of this drive began at MHS with his endless desire to become the Valedictorian.

In North Carolina, the Wake County school board removed recognizing Valedictorian and Salutatorian because “it leaves some children behind”.  What a great lesson to send to kids before they either move off to college by themselves, join the service, or start looking for full-time work.  EVERYONE IS A WINNER.  During Hori’s senior year at MHS, he took 6 Advanced Placement classes.  I took zero.  I might not be as smart as him, but I was smart enough to realize I would probably not be the Valedictorian.  Somehow, I survived (along with the rest of 2014 class) without feeling offended or left behind.

At last night’s graduation, MHS also made the change to have both males and females wear red robes, compared to girls wearing white in the past.  While Hori was perfectly fine with this change, I was not and from what I have heard, many grads and former students disagreed as well.  The anonymous 2016 grad that this change “pissed off all of us” because, “every graduation ever is two colors”.  Nailed it people, forget decades of tradition, let’s change things because that is what we think people want.  If students wanted a change in robe color then they would’ve spoken up about it.  From what I have heard, that never happened.

All of this comes months after MHS removed the dreamcatcher from its athletic logo.  This too was after many high schools and colleges around the country changed their nicknames/logos due to controversies over whether names are offensive to Native Americans.  MHS removed the dreamcatcher so suddenly that it is still on logos of its spring sports teams, five of which made the MIAA state tournament.  If you check out the @MHSRedRaiders Twitter account, you will notice recent posts about the boys tennis and lacrosse teams still show the dreamcatcher.  So MHS is still displaying the dreamcatcher despite so clearly stating that they took it away.  This all despite a recent poll by the Washington Post poll that 90% of Native Americans are not offended by the NFL team name Washington Redskins, which is the most controversial Native American team name in all of sports.

All of these sudden changes seem to be in response to the recent culture of “safe spaces” and making sure that everything you ever say does not offend somebody.  While I have not spoken to anyone in the Melrose Public School system I cannot say I know the real reason as to why these changes have been made.  But it seems to me the culture of today’s society is what is driving these changes, and that Melrose is backing down so as to not get called out due to lack of “political correctness”.  I don’t know who is making these changes, but I hope that these changes are not permanent, because that would be a damn shame.

Editor’s Note:

It baffles me how over 7,000 people have read this yet NOT ONE of you cockwombles have liked the FB page or followed us @stitchedupfm on Twitter. Seriously, we at Stitched Up are over here doing the heavy lifting, passionately tackling the scary stories, putting our lives and reputations on the line, and aggressively producing cutthroat, meticulous works of journalism such as this treasure, and yall can’t even click a button. Today is D-Day, which commemorates the day the Greatest Generation stormed the beaches of Normandy while Hitler sat on his arsch. Take that metaphor whatever way you will.


25 thoughts on “Melrose High is a Disgrace

  1. It's Alexandria Taylor of course says:

    Whoever wrote this is an intolerable piece of shit. Like are you so bored of the small town lifestyle that you have to find irrelevant things to complain about to keep busy. This whole essay reeks of straight white male with a fragile ego and unchecked privilege.


    1. Person says:

      ^Shut the fuck up. “Unchecked privilege” stop being a fucking hypocrite you white washed idiot. Here in the United States of America you can bitch about whatever you’d like. If it’s not safe enough for your safe space, get off the fucking Internet, move out of Melrose and go to Portland Oregon or some shit.


    2. Mike wentzell says:

      Hey alexandria, your comment reeks of lefty liberal “dont offend anyone”, soo next time keep your comments to does wearing different robes and having a valedictorian offensive.?…its tradition…..your comments proove the pussification of america


  2. Bob Villa says:

    “letting a team work hard to get to the championship all season and then at the final moment say there is no game because all the teams did a great job and deserve to be winners. Boom”. Uhh Nope. That’s not even close to the situation. If the valedictorian worked their ass off and then wasn’t allowed to go to college, then ok. But they clearly are. It’s more like “letting a team work hard to get to the championship all season, they do really well, and then they dont get to stand up in front of all the other teams and give a speach”. Boo hoo.


    1. Kevin Cann says:

      Kevin Cann, I am a graduate of MHS in 1973. I was taught to WIN. Winning makes people happy. Studying hard and coming out with good grades makes students and parents extremely happy. If you stop and think it is their way of competing like athletes do. That one person who took 1more extra step then other students has become the #1student at MHS. That student has been rewarded and be recognized for the accomplishments they have made. Now you want to take away all the great accomplishments of those students. As a former student athlete with decent grades I feel being at the same the same level as a student who barely made their way through high school is the biggest slap in the face. Now imagine how the student who is the Valitditorian feels because that student is better than me as he/she is the best student in your school.
      To make such a big issue over the Red Raider nickname is embarrassing. I represented the Melrose Red Raiders with pride on and off the field. The people who made those decisions should be fired.
      Kevin Cann class of 1973

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Me says:

    FYI: I graduated from Melrose High in 1990 and we all wore red graduation gowns, boys AND girls. All the classes before me, the ones in the few years before me anyway because I wasn’t at any graduations prior to 1987, also everyone wore the same red caps and gowns. There were no white gowns.


    1. Sandy says:

      Thank you. I also graduated in the 90’s and have no memory of students wearing different colored robes. I believe the honors students had a tassel that recognized their membership in the National Honors Society but we all wore the some robes.

      As far as the concern about validvictorian, I believe MHS also had an honors night before the graduation ceremony. During the honors night students were recognized for their distinguished accomplishment. Not every student was recognized. It was geared towards students that stood out in various areas. Several awards were given out to students that excelled in specific academic areas. In addition, the student with the highest GPA was also recognized. This suggests that there are ways of honoring students achievements without having to hold to the practice of validvictorian.


  4. Steve Murphy says:

    This is a fantastic article. Melrose has gone soft. Plain and simple. Those is charge obviously don’t value the students opinion since they’ve never asked them what they might think. It’s a classic example of “we know what’s best for you” ideology. It is an absolute disgrace what’s going on in Melrose. We wore all red in 1992 by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. John Sullivan says:

        Affluent? Are we talking about Winchester or Lexington? Melrose has a few really nice streets, but not sure where you get “affluent” from. Have you been towards the Malden border lately? And sense when does soft equate to white? I take it you’re either dumb, young or both.


  5. Your Mom says:

    Another example of the pussafacation of our youth. Safe place? Jesus Christ, really? What ever happened to coping skills, learning to learn and get through failures and disappointment? The PC thing used to be a bit of a joke, it is truly getting out of hand now. Teach your kids to make goals. Teach em to try, fail or success then learn from either outcome. Teach em there are things in the world that can be difficult and how to best handle it. Safe place? Get the fuck out of here with that red diaper doper baby bullshit.


    1. Bob says:

      Coping skills today are not developed. They are found in a bottle. Be it alcohol or pill. A sign of the times. The ruination of a nation.


  6. Frank Rizzo says:

    I am without question dismayed by all of the vitriol and rancor. We seem unwilling or unable to have a civil discussion of competing ideas. We can disagree and do it without anger and profanity. That being said, I don’t see a problem with having a valedictorian. I graduated MHS in 91′ wasn’t a valedictorian. It didn’t hurt my ego in any way shape or form and from what I understand of my classmates who weren’t valedictorian, it hasn’t negatively impacted them either. We still have many successful folk in our class, in all strata of society, business owners, lawyers, doctors, successful business men and women. There is nothing wrong with celebrating excellence, hard work and determination.


  7. MHS Grad says:

    The girl that gave the academic address at MHS’ graduation this year is going to Harvard next year. It seems that the lack of an official valedictorian (they still read out the top 11 ranked students) neither affected her ability to get into one of the most competitive and renowned institutions in the world or prevented her from giving a speech at graduation. She and college admissions officers are smart enough to realize that a strong candidate is not defined by titles and speeches, but by the quality or their work.
    This article shows the hipocrasy behind the pushback against “PC culture”. While I do agree that the “everyone’s a winner” attitude is a detriment to any institution, that I’d not the message sent at this year’s graduatiom . For someone who is so against “political corectness” and “safe spaces” the author seems extremely sensitive to the alteration or arbitrary pieces of “tradition” for being so vocal in telling people to “toughen up”. The dream catcher is a part of a wider trend of cultural appropriation of Native American culture that reaches far bey on the mere 504 people interviewed in the cited poll about the Redskins names (there are 5.4 million natives in the country). Melrose fans need to step outside the sphere of their infant culture, suck it up, and accept that those two feathers are gone. It offends a lot of people, and it has no negative effects of changing it outside Melrose fans bitching. It’s called decency- if you don’t have to surrender much to appease someone who’s had their culture trampeled- you should make a change. Take the author’s advice and suck it up.
    The first commenter has it dead on: the author’s insecurities are revealed in the vigor with which he defends meaningless “decades old traditions” like the dream catcher logo or two-color ed gown schemes. The robes changed less than 20 years ago, so do some research before jumping up to defend against the villains who changed this tiny detail. Any alteration of apparently not-so-sacred Melrose traditions does not need to be met with townie protests.
    Yes, MHS is a disgrace. However, it’s not brcaude they did no name a valedictorian. The fact that this article wasn’t written about the civil rights lawsuit against MHS, the poor treatment of its teachers, or ineffective administration is unbelievable. Shocking that people in our town are so damn sensitive to change, and it’s such a shame that those changes overshadow the issues we need to face.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. MHS Alumni says:

    To the person who said “every graduation ever is two colors”… you are completely wrong. As many others have commented, I also graduated from MHS and we all wore red gowns. Separating by gender was ridiculous and luckily someone must have realized that it was a mistake. I’m glad they’re back to everyone wearing red.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. MHS Alumni says:

    As someone who hears of all this stuff happening at MHS, and after reading this article by someone who stated they didn’t speak to any Melrose people when writing the article, and who can’t even get their facts right, I am flabbergasted, disgusted, and truly angered. I am so sick of hearing about PC. Growing up in Melrose I was taught we are all equal. Yes there are kids that are smarter and they deserve the recognition of honors or valedictorian! Never did I ever hear that the Red Raiders name or logo offended anyone. Why now? Is it because there are so many idiots living in Melrose that didn’t grow up there and have settled there that have a problem? The people who have initiated the changes due to “being offensive” need to get over themselves. I mean, I’m offended that someone with Native American ancestors get extra tax breaks, so should I start a petition to change that? I am also offended by companies that tell you to press 1 for English, shouldn’t it just be in English and press 1 for Spanish? This debate could go on and on about a lot of things! My point is, people who write articles should check their facts, people who are offended should just shut up, and everyone should focus on the level of education their kids are getting rather than worrying about who’s possibly being offended!! What are you people teaching your kids?


      1. Cely Thompson says:

        Honestly, I am not a native of Melrose, but I raised my children here and they both graduated from MHS, and both of them wore Red gowns when they graduated, 2 years apart, my daughter graduated in 2002 my son in 2004….Both did not graduate with honors, but they are doing fine as adults. My son have a good job, he has 2 degrees as a matter of fact. To me it’s blown out of proportion, I think Melrose is still one of the greatest city of the north suburban Boston. And being an honor student does not define you as a human beings, it’s how you live as normal adults.


Comments are closed.