Disabled Girl Sues For Having To Share Valedictorian...

SVT Cobra

Lifer
Mar 29, 2005
13,264
2
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This happened at a school Dsitrict very close to the one where i went to high school in NJ, ...the suit was filed in 2003 and it came to my attention again when another suit has been filed, but i cannot find the update...if anybody can that would be great.

Heres the article Article


News
Published on Monday, May 12, 2003
Admitted Student's Suit Provokes Outrage


For two high school seniors, a slim gap of 0.055 in grade point average (GPA) has set off a multi-million-dollar lawsuit, an act of vandalism and a petition to rescind Harvard?s offer of admission to one of the students.

High school senior Blair Hornstine bagged a 4.689 GPA while classmate Kenneth Mirkin clocked in right behind with 4.634. But their school?s attempt to give both students?who will be entering Harvard as members of the Class of 2007 this fall?the title of valedictorian has prompted Hornstine to sue, claiming the school was discriminating against her as a disabled person.

In a preliminary hearing last Thursday, a U.S. District Court judge ruled in Hornstine?s favor, likely leaving her the sole valedictorian. Any damage awards will be determined in future hearings.

The legal spat took off when Hornstine sued the Moorestown, New Jersey, public school system for $2.5 million in punitive damages and $200,000 in compensatory damages to preserve her top-dog honor.

Hornstine filed her suit after learning that her high school was considering naming co-valedictorians since Hornstine?s status as a disabled student might have given her an unfair advantage over her peers.

She was exempted from physical education classes due to an immune deficiency that left her chronically fatigued, and she was therefore able to rack up classes that counted more toward her GPA.

The school district contended that this exemption was an unfair advantage in the competition for valedictorian.

Mirkin entered the legal fray last Thursday as an ?intervener? on the side of the school system. Mirkin said yesterday he acted in defense of the targets of Hornstine?s suit.

?The superintendent [of the Moorestown school system] has taken a courageous stand to support our class. I?m rising in defense of that,? Mirkin said.

In Moorestown and in Cambridge, Hornstine?s suit has met with popular vitriol.

?People are disgusted by her,? the mother of a Moorestown senior said last night. ?People don?t even want to have anything to do with the parents because they see it as being manipulative.?

Hornstine?s house was battered with eggs last week.

Her picture has appeared on students? instant-message buddy icons, digitally altered to add tears to her eyes and an ?X? over her name, according to Moorestown High junior Robert T. Ellison.

Back in Cambridge, several widely forwarded e-mails directed students to an online petition to rescind Hornstine?s admission to the College. The petition had attracted more than 550 signatures at 2 a.m. this morning.

But Mirkin said Harvard students should not judge Hornstine.

?I don?t want there to be any hatred towards her before she even comes in,? he said. ?I think that?s just an unfair position to be put in.?

In a written statement, Hornstine said that being named a co-valedictorian would have ?left unprotected the next disabled student.?

She wrote that the suit is ?an act of necessity, aimed at saving others from apathy,? according to the Associated Press.

Hornstine could not be reached for comment last night.

D. Alexander Ewing ?03 called the petition to take back Hornstine?s acceptance to Harvard ?a shame,? adding that it is particularly objectionable because Hornstine?s older brother Adam J. Hornstine ?03 is a senior in Pforzheimer House.

Adam Hornstine, who was the valedictorian at Moorestown High School as a senior there, also declined comment, noting he did so ?out of respect for my family.? Hornstine will attend Harvard Law School next year, Ewing said.

Other Moorestown residents expressed skepticism with Hornstine?s discrimination claim.

?Nobody really knows what an ?immune deficiency? is,? said Ellison. ?I guess she has a problem, but I still think you need to go to school to be valedictorian. And she?s saying that she?s tired all the time. But the student population is. We?re all tired because we?re working just as hard as she is.?

Hornstine?s lawyers last week defended their client?s case as a legitimate effort to protect the rights of disabled students.

Hornstine?s immune deficiency causes her to be chronically fatigued. She did most of her schoolwork at home with private tutors.

Jonah M. Knobler ?03, who began a lively discussion on the Winthrop House open e-mail list after forwarding a news story about Hornstine to the list, said he signed the petition to voice his ?disapproval? of Hornstine?s lawsuit.

?Her actions are unbecoming of a Harvard student, and they make the rest of us look bad in association,? Knobler said. ?Some of the comments on the petition have been, ?This is typically what I expect of a Harvard student.? It just fits in exactly with what we don?t want to look like in the media.?

According to Cyndy Wulfsberg, Moorestown?s school board president, the lawsuit poses a ?real challenge? to Moorestown.

?It would be impossible for us to pay that kind of money and not have it affect the school district,? she said. ?We?re trying to prepare for next year, and we?re preparing for legal issues instead.?

In what one online message-board poster sarcastically dubbed the ?Blair Witch Project,? students of Moorestown High School and other web surfers have posted angry reactions to the case ranging from vulgar to violent to disgusted.

Moorestown junior Brian S. Maley said yesterday that his high school?s atmosphere of cutthroat competition likely aggravated the situation.

?I can see where it?s coming from: this competitive nature, like, ?Oh, I want to be the best,?? he said. ?At our school, everyone?s trying to be the best.?

Moorestown School Superintendent Paul A. Kadri claimed that Hornstine?s father, a New Jersey Superior Court judge, threatened to ?use any advantage of the laws and regulations? to provide his daughter ?the best opportunity to be valedictorian,? according to the Los Angeles Times.

But amid the harsh words for Hornstine and her family, some defend her academic merit. Ewing, the senior who criticized the petition against Hornstine as insensitive, said he once judged the high school senior in a mock trial competition.

?She was the best attorney,? he said.

Hornstine also has a hefty resume to speak for her talents. She and her brother co-founded a service club. She also founded a prom dress drive for local high school students, co-founded a food drive for the local poor and chaired a campaign to raise money for cleft-lip and -palate surgeries for Chinese orphans.

Hornstine has said that she hopes to become a lawyer.






Personally i think that she should be greatful that they even gave her co-valivictorian, but that is me. I have had plently of experience with disabled students becuase at my high school, and before that my middle school, had a program where special education kids went to school like us and were even in the same classes, i had nothing against it and in most cases it served as a valuable learning experience, and i became friends with a few even. This program included kids who were in wheelchairs and could not talk due to phyisical and mental complications. Anyway i had one girl in my English class that recieved the same award and benfits as others when receiving A's for all 4 years in High School, which was typically for the most part alright becuase i have to admit it took A LOT of courage and work to even get up and go to school each day for that girl, even though she was excempt from certain essays, all exams, had a lot of extra time to complete assignments, and got to take home all her tests, or do them with an aide by her side to write for her while she was in the wheelchair and could not move or write who would (at least in my middle school, at times that i witnessed), correct her wrong answers, or keep asking if she was sure if that answer was wrong. It was pretty much like that ect....she would on average come to school once or twice a week. She graduated with us and all was fine, abiet for a few feelings of unfairness due to all of the kids including me who put in a lot of hard work, while she got to "coast" through (obivously it was not coasting becuase of her disability), and be in the same type of "classification" as us. But in this case, if i were valivictorian i would be extrememly pissed off, and i can understand the type of repsonce that kids at this district made. That is my opinion, and in some cases i believe that things have gone to far, where the line for special treatment has got to be drawn.

As i said there is an update to this that i cannot find, in a higher court the ruling was against the disabled girl's side and the co-ship stood...


UPDATE: found this...

from here

In another case that year, Blair Hornstine, a senior at Moorestown High School, in New Jersey, and the daughter of a New Jersey superior-court judge, sued the local board of education to be named the school?s sole valedictorian; she also asked for two hundred thousand dollars in compensatory damages and more than two million dollars in punitive damages. Hornstine had an unspecified illness that caused ?substantial fatigue,? and, with the consent of the school district, she had taken many of her classes at home, with private tutors. Her transcript showed twenty-three A-pluses, nine A?s, and a single A-minus; two-thirds of her classes were A.P. courses. Her weighted G.P.A. was 4.6894, which reportedly put her .055 points ahead of her closest competitor, Kenneth Mirkin.

Apprently she had plagerized during HS also....

also there is another article about her plagerism but the link from google news is not working...
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
24,873
9,131
136
?Nobody really knows what an ?immune deficiency? is,? said Ellison. ?I guess she has a problem, but I still think you need to go to school to be valedictorian. And she?s saying that she?s tired all the time. But the student population is. We?re all tired because we?re working just as hard as she is.?
Umm, I don't agree with her suit and all, but this guy needs to STFU.

*edit* nevermind...pwned again! She wasn't at school while taking classes? Private tutors? The school goes through all this trouble to accomodate her and she thanks them by punishing them for $2.5 million (public school no less so everyone pays for it!)?? I can think of four letters for this fatigued bitch...D..I..A..F!!!
 

TheLonelyPhoenix

Diamond Member
Feb 15, 2004
5,594
1
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Personally, I think Hornstine should have been happy to share the valedictorian status. It was a great honor and while she probably earned it, I don't think she shouldn't have seeked to remove the honor from someone else who worked hard as well.
 

shopbruin

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2000
5,817
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i remember when this was first posted here. people kept calling her a whiny bitch. not that i disagree...

suing to get your way... sigh.
 

mcvickj

Diamond Member
Dec 13, 2001
4,602
0
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WTF?!? Hasn't anyone told her that HS doesn't mean jack sh!t. Suing to protect the rights of future disabled students? BS. She just doesn't want to share the the spot light with someone else. She made good grades and was accepted into Havard! There is nothing to be gained by trying to sue the school. She needs her head examined.
 

BrokenVisage

Lifer
Jan 29, 2005
24,770
12
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Originally posted by: freesia39
i remember when this was first posted here. people kept calling her a whiny bitch. not that i disagree...

suing to get your way... sigh.

It's the Newmerican way.
 

SagaLore

Elite Member
Dec 18, 2001
24,037
21
81
I read the whole thing - I would have to say I'm somewhat split in my opinion.

She should have just accepted co-valedictorian - the award would not have had any less meaning. By filing suit, she really is showing her true colors - probably the result of getting all this special treatment in the first place.

The school never should have given her that much special treatment in the first place. I had chronic fatigue throughout my childhood. Whether you stay at home or go to school, it doesn't go away. She could have taken classes like everyone else - and then take a special gym class that wasn't as exerting on her. I think what happened was that her father being a Judge, probably was able to get the school to do things they normally would not have done for students.

This case has nothing to do with being disabled, but everything to do with special treatment. I think the school made a good decision and she was just being selfish, "I don't want to share! Waaa!"
 

SagaLore

Elite Member
Dec 18, 2001
24,037
21
81
Originally posted by: mcvickj
WTF?!? Hasn't anyone told her that HS doesn't mean jack sh!t. Suing to protect the rights of future disabled students? BS. She just doesn't want to share the the spot light with someone else. She made good grades and was accepted into Havard! There is nothing to be gained by trying to sue the school. She needs her head examined.

Well the backlash is certainly going to teach her a lesson - Harvard wants to cancel her acception now, and it's going to be difficult for her to get into other schools with her reputation. :p The irony is that even if Harvard does still let her in - she's going to be in for a reality check, but there is NO way they're going to give her the special treatment that her high school gave her.
 

Legendary

Diamond Member
Jan 22, 2002
7,020
1
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You would think that she wouldn't want to call attention to her school record when you consider that she supposedly plagiarized and also took all her classes with home private tutors. Really hard to side with her in that case, and it sucks to be that Kenneth guy who's getting the shaft in this whole debacle.
 

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
56,040
14,718
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Search the web for her name. There are many hate sites set up against her.

It's actually very disturbing how hateful many people are towards her.
 

Goosemaster

Lifer
Apr 10, 2001
48,777
3
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At least she won't have any friends at harvard:thumbsup: and at least at harvard she'll have to do her own work:thumbsup:

She is forever doomed to be recognized as a tyrant and all kind heartedness and apathy that she might have experienced in her life will never come.

She is epitome of humanity at its worst, and I hope she enjoys her spoils...sad and alone.

Greedy bitch.
 

thatguyant

Member
Feb 28, 2005
151
0
76
This is why my school never seclected a valeditorian. We celebrated 22 students who achieved 4.0 status or higher regardless of which classes they took. This was fair since there was such a large gap between the magnet population and the regular student body (there were about 500 of us out of 4000 in a magnet program). I thought that was a good solution because it honored every student that did well in their classes. I know some people may think that's not fair because AP students were pulled down to the same level as non AP students, but you have to think that those students accomplished just as much with the classes they were offered. There are some kids who are not suited for AP's but work just as hard at normal classes to earn their grades and they should not be held down because they weren't as "smart" (whatever that concept means) as their AP counterparts.
 

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
56,040
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As for her being accused of having plagerized...

It's for two articles she wrote for the local paper. It had nothing to do with her school work.

Seriously guys, google her name and take a look at the number of hate sites set up against her.

It's so disturbing, it actually sways me to her side.
 

Originally posted by: Amused
As for her being accused of having plagerized...

It's for two articles she wrote for the local paper. It had nothing to do with her school work.

Seriously guys, google her name and take a look at the number of hate sites set up against her.

It's so disturbing, it actually sways me to her side.
Aren't you normally against our 'litigous' society? Why the sudden change of heart?
 

TheLonelyPhoenix

Diamond Member
Feb 15, 2004
5,594
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Originally posted by: Amused
Seriously guys, google her name and take a look at the number of hate sites set up against her.

It's so disturbing, it actually sways me to her side.

I don't agree with those sites either, but just because she's being unfairly attacked doesn't make her right.

Edit: Apparently Harvard did rescind her admission offer after the plagarism came to light.
 

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
56,040
14,718
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Originally posted by: jumpr
Originally posted by: Amused
As for her being accused of having plagerized...

It's for two articles she wrote for the local paper. It had nothing to do with her school work.

Seriously guys, google her name and take a look at the number of hate sites set up against her.

It's so disturbing, it actually sways me to her side.
Aren't you normally against our 'litigous' society? Why the sudden change of heart?

I never said I supported her lawsuit. I merely pointed out that the amount of hate towards her is disturbing.

And actually, I believe civil torts are a fine way of resolving disputes. I only have a problem with judges who do not summarily throw out pointless lawsuits.
 

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
56,040
14,718
146
Originally posted by: TheLonelyPhoenix
Originally posted by: Amused
Seriously guys, google her name and take a look at the number of hate sites set up against her.

It's so disturbing, it actually sways me to her side.

I don't agree with those sites either, but just because she's being unfairly attacked doesn't make her right.

It doesn't make her wrong, either. She did have the higher GPA.

That she was accommodated under the ADA shouldn't make her accomplishments any less worthy.
 

Originally posted by: Amused
Originally posted by: TheLonelyPhoenix
Originally posted by: Amused
Seriously guys, google her name and take a look at the number of hate sites set up against her.

It's so disturbing, it actually sways me to her side.

I don't agree with those sites either, but just because she's being unfairly attacked doesn't make her right.

It doesn't make her wrong, either. She did have the higher GPA.

That she was accommodated under the ADA shouldn't make her accomplishments any less worthy.
I agree, but Harvard is perfectly within its bounds to rescind her admission. A person who resorts to high-priced lawsuits to get what she wants is probably not the type of person Harvard wants in its classes.

Then again, I know plenty of people here at U-Michigan who would do exactly the same thing.

:roll: