SHARECOMMENTMORE

Brooksville, Florida - How often has one heard, "Before signing anything, read the fine print"? The same can be said for public officials; before voting on anything, read it and read all of it.

Some Hernando School Board members say they failed to do that when they voted last summer to eliminate the valedictorian and salutatorian, starting with the current freshman class.

Some students say they'd pay the price for the board not doing its homework.

"You have valedictorian [as] number one and salutatorian [as] number two, duh!" says Lane Whitaker, ninth grader at Hernando High School. Lane says the class ranking is a tradition.

And it's a tradition other freshmen at Hernando High School want to keep.

"That shows your academics, your opportunity to get to college and start your life," saidJohn Budrovic also a ninthgrader.

Except the Class of 2016 will not have a valedictorian or salutatorian after the Hernando School Board voted to eliminate this designation, but did they mean to do this? Several board members say: "No."

"Yes, I do want to reinstate it," saidHernando School Board member Dianne Bonfield.

Yet last year, the board voted five to zero to eliminate this distinction based on a committee's recommendation... a recommendation Bonfield said they did not make clear to the board.

"We need to figure out where the communication breakdown was, and why the board was not informed," Bonfield said. "I can't understand this [but] we will get to the bottom of it."

And when 10 News asked Bonfield, "Isn't it up to the board to read everything that is put before them before voting on it?" she told us, " Yes, I'm sorry. I missed it. I missed it. I missed it... and for that, I am truly sorry."

Bonfield is not alone. Hernando School superintendent Bryan Blavatt said, "To be honest, I'm guilty as anyone. I didn't notice it excluded valedictorian and salutatorians. I thought this was a way to recognize more kids, not less."

Blavatt said district officials should have done a better job briefing, or "red lining" the information for the board.

According to Blavatt, the change to the high school handbook included recognizing the top 10 percent of honor students through the cum laude and summa cum laude distinctions, like colleges do.

"I'm a traditionalist. I think you should acknowledge the valedictorian and salutatorian," he told us. "I think the board feels that way, and we will straighten it out."

The committee that made the recommendation -- which included principals -- said the competition to be number one in the class is sometimes not healthy, and other top performing students should be recognized.

Regardless, the board will be taking this controversial issue that is heating up to Tuesday's workshop.

Follow 10 News Reporter Isabel Mascarenas on twitter @IzzyMascarenas

You may also like...

Teen Sex:Online support grows 18-year-old girl who had same-sex relationship with 15-year-old

Prostitute Roundup:92 arrested in online sex sting

Cannonball:Men who jumped on top of manatees may face charges

Investigation:Florida shortens yellow lights to cause more red light tickets

Attractive Convict: Woman behind mug shot meme sets the record straight

Crime-Fighting Gator:Man flees cops, attacked by alligator

Homebrew Soda:Man claims to find Coca-Cola recipe, sells it on eBay

Watch this, Brother:Hulk Hogan does the weather at 10 News!

Record-breaker:18-foot python caught in Florida!

Dwinking and Dwiving:Barbara Walters' daughter arrested for DUI

PHOTOS:Bikini bike wash!

Happy Reunion:Kidnapped kids taken to Cuba back with grandparents

Faces of Meth: Before and After pictures

Sex tape scandal:Miss Delaware Teen USA resigns

Neigh!Video shows man brutalizing, having sex with horse

Sex blog:Tampa area school CFO busted over her dirty sex porn blog *warning, GRAPHIC*

Nasty Nasty Dining:10 of the nastiest restaurants in Tampa Bay in 2012

APP-tastic:Download the 10 News app for your iPad

Bikini Photos:2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant

Money Mondays: How you can search for unclaimed cash

Sex Offender Mugshots:Look up Florida Sex Offenders here

Bikinis, mud, trucks:The Redneck Yacht Club

Naughty Schoolgirls: Naughty schoolgirl night at Tampa club pictures

Nip/tuck:Hooters tries surviving middle age with a makeover

Outrageous mug shot galleries...

Strange:Some of the most unusual mug shots we've seen

Notorious Women:Bad girls behind bars

Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots

Celebrities:The rich and famous have their own booking photos

Jaw droppers: Open mouth mug shots

Laughers:What's so funny mug shots

Prostitutes:Prostitute mug shots

Athletes:Professional athlete mug shots

Porn arrests:Child porn arrest mug shots

Local Mugs:Hillsborough County Mug shots

More unusual mug shots and galleries:10 News slideshows and galleries

SHARECOMMENTMORE