Linda Purrington (lpurring@earthlink.net)
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 12:18:08 -0700

Teen Mom Barred From Honor Society

.c The Associated Press

XENIA, Ohio (AP) - A student with a 3.8 grade point average has been
barred from joining her high school's National Honor Society chapter
because she is a teen-age mother.

Amanda Lemon, 18, was invited to join Xenia High School's chapter until
the five-member faculty council that oversees the society learned the
senior had a 9-month-old daughter.

School officials said parenthood is a barrier to joining the national

``In Xenia, we have not allowed that,'' said Xenia schools
James Smith. ``This community is a very - what would I say? -
conservative community.''

The National Honor Society, established in 1921, allows the more than
14,000 high school chapters across the country to set their own
in four areas: grade point average, service, leadership and character.

Smith said the school's society has also barred male students who had

Miss Lemon filed a formal discrimination grievance with the high
principal on Friday, saying the school's decision violates federal law.

The school is now reviewing its policy. However, a spokeswoman for the
national group that oversees the society said a school can bar a
parent from joining.

``If the child was seen as evidence the girl was engaged in sex
that can be used as a gauge of her character,'' said Pat Scanlan,
spokeswoman for the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Miss Lemon's mother said her daughter is a role model who deserves to be


``She has shown you don't have to have an abortion, you don't have to
drop out of school, you don't have to feel like your whole world has
crumbled around you,'' Barbara Lemon said. ``You can make it and excel
and be a good student, be a good mother and not feel defeated.''


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