Students Required to Wear Lanyards Displaying GPA

Alexis Yang, Staff Writer

High schools around the country are adopting a new policy that requires students to wear lanyards that display their overall unweighted GPA.

Robert Hansen, a high school principal from Minneapolis, Minnesota, believes that the policy will be beneficial for students. “Having students’ GPAs visible throughout the school day gives students a sense of definition,” Hansen says. “Students in my school feel like their grades define them, which provides them with a great sense of identity.”

According to Katherine Werner, a math teacher from Baltimore, Maryland, “Students really feel the pressure to get good grades. Having a constant reminder of their GPA challenges them. If you don’t see your mistakes, you can’t grow.”

But what do students think about this new policy?

“It’s humiliating,” says Maria Benson, a high school sophomore from Waltham, Massachusetts. “Wearing the lanyard makes me feel like I’m worse than my classmates who get better grades. Now everyone’s judged for their grades more than ever.”

Joshua Kowalski, a high school junior from Savannah, Georgia agrees. “Having my GPA constantly associated with me doesn’t help me improve,” he states. “It just makes me stressed all the time. I feel like my grades are never good enough.”

Some students believe that schools shouldn’t be so fixated on grades. “GPA is just a number,” Karen Platt, a senior from Santa Rosa, California says. “It doesn’t define you as a person. Kids everywhere feel so stressed because of numbers. They feel like it’s a reflection of them. But GPA isn’t an evaluation of you as a person. I just wish students and teachers alike would understand that.”

Despite students’ opposition, the lanyard policy doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. By the 2019-20 school year, the policy will be in effect in seven new states.