A Guiding Hand

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Following are excerpts on the selection of inductees from the National Honor Society's handbook.
Selection Procedures

"All decisions concerning selection have a certain subjective element, but problems can be avoided if the faculty council develops and follows some objective criteria. ... Whatever procedure is followed, it must be fair, nondiscriminatory, consistently applied, and written for public dissemination. ...

"In evaluating potential members for leadership, service, and character, the faculty council often begins with a review of the definitions of these criteria. These definitions should also appear in the public description of the selection process. A common understanding of the criteria for selection helps all involved to accept and understand the professional decisions made by the faculty council."

NHS and the Law

"Special care would seem to be needed in evaluating character. Pregnancy in particular, whether within or without wedlock, cannot be the basis for automatic rejection under recent judicial interpretations of federal law.

"That is not to say, however, that pregnancy cannot be considered as one determinant of character, as character is defined by a particular faculty council. But pregnancy can be so considered only if evidence of paternity is similarly regarded as indicative of character. ...

"While students not selected for membership in the NHS are not legally entitled to any kind of formal hearing or other kind of due process, common courtesy would suggest that they be graciously received, along with their parents, and that the selection process be re-explained to them.

"This does not mean that the students or their parents have a right to see the evaluation sheets or other papers which may have been used by the faculty council in making their decisions on selection."

SOURCE: National Honor Society Handbook, 15th Edition, published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

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