Blair Hornstine
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Below is the official Court Decision involving Blair and the Moorestown Public Schools and their then-Superintendent Paul Kadri.  In order to clearly understand the decision the word plaintiff has been modified for easier reading for laypersons.  The words in brackets depict the changes.

Select Section->    1->Blair Hornstine: Intro    2->Blair Hornstine: Facts and Procedural History    3->Blair Hornstine: Defendants Motion to Dismiss    

4->Blair Hornstine: Entitled to Temporary Restraints    5->Blair Hornstine: Conclustion


In summary, it appears that Superintendent Kadri and the Board initially attempted to appease the interests of some parents and students in the school community by reviewing [Blair Hornstine]'s academic history to confirm that she had fairly earned the valedictorian award. In so doing, however, defendants adopted the assumption that somehow [Blair Hornstine]'s disability and accommodations have given her an academic advantage over other students. They have lost sight of the fact that [Blair Hornstine], unlike her peers, suffers from a debilitating medical condition, which has never been disputed by the Board, and that her accommodations were aimed at putting her on a level playing field with her healthy classmates. Defendants should revel in the success of their IDEA program and the academic star it has produced; instead they seek to diminish the honor that she has rightly earned.

Regrettably, this issue has polarized the graduating class and the community-- most of whom are uninformed about the facts and the law. [FN16] In light of that, I want to make clear that the evidence in this case has shown that Ms. Hornstine earned her distinction as the top student in her class in spite of, not because of, her disability.

FN16. I am also constrained to point out that the fierceness of the competition in Moorestown High School is evidenced by the widespread involvement of parents in this dispute, which may have been fueled by the school's emphasis on grade-based distinctions. While the School's Handbook states that it seeks to minimize competition by no longer reporting class rank, Handbook at 58, elsewhere it heightens the level of competition by naming a valedictorian and salutatorian, and by further denoting honors based on weighted GPA:

Additional recognition at graduation will include the following:

• Students with a WGPA of 4.250 and higher will wear a gold tassel and be noted in the graduation program with a plus (+) for Highest Honors.

• Students with a GPA of 3.700 to 4.249 will be noted in the graduation program with an asterisk (*) for High Honors.

• Students with a perfect 4.0 average for all four years (all A grades) will be noted in the graduation program with an "o".

Id. at 35. It is unfortunate that the burdens of competition imposed on these students by parents and the school community have further fanned the flames of this controversy.

Accordingly, [Blair Hornstine] is entitled to an order directing defendants to follow the policy that is in effect: the student with the highest seventh semester weighted grade point average will be named the valedictorian. It is undisputed that [Blair Hornstine] meets that criterion; thus, she should be the sole valedictorian of the Moorestown High School Class of 2003.

Select Section->    1->Introduction    2->Facts and Procedural History    3->Defendants Motion to Dismiss    

4->[Blair] is entitled to Temporary Restraints    5->Conclustion     Top of Page