A pizza and dance party for straight-A students at a Maryland middle school has sparked controversy among parents and students alike.

Kids at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md., Tuesday were rewarded with an “Academic Achievement Celebration” for having good grades.

The party, which started during the final period of the school day, featured pizza, soda, games and a DJ, according to WTTG-TV.

While some saw it as an appropriate reward for a job well done, others dismissed it as exclusionary. And here’s why: Kids who received lower grades were reportedly not allowed to enjoy free pizza at the party — and were only invited to attend after classes ended.

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While some parents and students felt it wasn’t fair to only hold portions of the party for kids who had high marks, others said that the event actually serves as an incentive to encourage harder work among pupils.

Karen Hanlon, a parent with a child who has special needs and who was not invited to the party, said that the parameters simply weren’t fair.

“The students that don’t get to go end up feeling bad,” she told The Washington Post, claiming that the party divides students into groups.

There’s also the fear that undue pressure is being put on high-performing students to continue getting straight As. While excelling is important, some fear offering the event could put unhealthy stress on kids.

Eastern Middle School Event for Straight A Students Sparks Controversy

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But Chris Rutledge, president of the school’s PTSA, sees the “Academic Achievement Celebration” differently.

“I think it’s a twofold process: The school has to, and does, help all children to strive to excel,” he told the Post. “And when they do, it’s important to recognize them.”

And the school’s principal, Casey Crouse, said that the event is meant to be an incentive and a congratulations for those kids who have performed very well.

“The intention is not to make those who didn’t achieve feel badly,” she told the Post, adding that lower-performing students are honored at the school in different ways. “This is to recognize those who did do well.”

A message left by TheBlaze for officials at Montgomery County Public Schools has not been returned.

What do you think? Is a celebration for straight A students a good thing — or does it create undue pressure and unfairly cut students out of all the fun?

(H/T: Washington Post)

Featured image via Shutterstock.com