A New Jersey high school student claims that he was rejected as an applicant from his school’s National Honor Society because of his vocal support for President Donald Trump. The superintendent of the school, however, insists that the school administration does not discriminate on the basis of political affiliation, the Asbury Park Press reported.
Boris Kizenko, 16, is a junior at Holmdel High School in Holmdel, New Jersey. In an interview with New Jersey radio station 101.5’s Bill Spadea, he said that while he had met the criteria to be inducted into the National Honor Society, he thinks he was ultimately rejected because of conflicts with school administrators over his backing of Trump on social media.
Kizenko, the former class president, ran on a campaign that promised to “Make Holmdel Great Again” and lost the race. He also claimed he had a conflict with his class adviser, as they rejected his idea to host a paintball fundraiser at the school. Kizenko told the station that he asked his principal for a second opinion and was then reprimanded.
The student also said that while he served as class president, he posted a quote from Trump on the class’s Instagram account, which read, “If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” He claims the action resulted in reprimands.
Kizenko claimed that the administrators took down his post and removed his administrative privileges. He appealed the administration’s decision and received a “conduct report.”
Kizenko told the radio station he was rejected from National Honor Society because he had a “character issue,” according to a school official.
Superintendent Rober McGarry told the Asbury Park Press that he is unable to disclose a student’s personal information, including their grade-point-average, but he did state that politics would not be a factor in selecting National Honor Society members.
“I can confirm that political affiliation is not a consideration for National Honor Society acceptance and that no student would be denied admittance to National Honor Society based on his/her political speech or political party affiliation,” McGarry told the newspaper.
Since 1921, the National Honor Society has recognized young people who have shown dedication in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.
On top of having to hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, accepted members are expected to volunteer their time to their community, serve as leaders in their school and display good character. According to the National Honor Society, good character means, “The student should demonstrate an empathetic, compassionate, caring and kind behavior and attitude. The faculty council does recognize that students make mistakes. It is most important that full responsibility for their actions is assumed and a positive life-change is displayed as a result.”
According to Kizenko, he has a 4.0 GPA and several hours of community service.