Student Gives Bonus Points to Classmate with Lowest Score

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. recipient / rɪˈsɪp i ənt / (n) – a person who receives or benefits from something

    The unemployed man is the recipient of the cash prize.

  2. anonymous / əˈnɒn ə məs / (adj) – unknown, particularly the name

    We couldn’t send a thank you note to the anonymous donor of $1 million.

  3. astonished / əˈstɒn ɪʃt / (adj) – amazed or surprised in a good way

    I was astonished to learn that the young boy set up a shelter for homeless animals.

  4. unfazed / ʌnˈfeɪzd / (adj) – not bothered or worried

    I’m unfazed by my tasks; I’m confident that I can do all of them.

  5. gesture / ˈdʒɛs tʃər / (n) – an act

    I’m very touched by her kind gesture.


Read the text below.

A high school student chose to give his exam bonus points to a failing classmate.

Winston Lee, a history teacher at Letcher County Central High School, shared the student’s act of kindness on Facebook. According to Lee, his straight A student wrote a note on his exam paper requesting that his bonus points be given to the classmate who scores the lowest on the exam.

The selfless student could have gotten a score of 99 on the exam with the 5 bonus points. Instead, he ended up with a score of 94 after transferring the extra points to a classmate who needed them more.

Although Lee kept the recipient’s identity anonymous, he revealed that it was a female student who would have failed the test without the five extra points.

The straight A student’s good deed left Lee astonished. He said that it was a rare and compassionate act toward others.

In his social media post, Lee encouraged everyone to follow the student’s example in doing kind acts.

Lee’s post garnered a lot of positive comments, but some people found the student’s act questionable. One commenter said that it might be better to directly help struggling students address their difficulties. Another commented that grades are supposed to be a reflection of what students have learned.

Despite the negative comments, Lee remains unfazed and believes that the student had the right to give away his points. He added that it was a selfless gesture for the boy.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were the straight A student, would you willingly give your hard-earned points to a failing classmate? Why or why not?
• If you were the teacher, would you allow the student to give his points to a failing classmate? Explain.

Discussion B

• Would you give away something that you worked hard for? Why or why not?
• What factors would you consider when deciding whether or not to give away something that you worked hard for (e.g. if someone else needs it more, if you have enough of it)? Discuss.