School Board Chair Tells Graduates They Underperformed

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ The chairwoman of the Volusia County School Board apologized for comments made during the Seabreeze High School graduation ceremony.

Linda Costello told The Daytona Beach News-Journal that she regrets offending many of the graduates and their families during the Sunday afternoon graduation.

Costello noted that one-third of the 400 students were graduating with distinguished honors. The rest, she said, “underperformed.” The audience fell silent after that remark.

Parent Sheri Malo says she felt Costello belittled the graduates who worked hard but didn’t earn honors. Daughter Olivia Malo didn’t graduate with honors, but the event marked an important milestone. She says her jaw dropped at the remarks.

Costello says she wasn’t thinking about “those who had done the very best they could.”