Black Student Can’t Be High School Valedictorian
An Arkansas high school refused to allow a Black student to be valedictorian, despite the student having the highest GPA in the class.
Reports state the following:
A high school southeast of Little Rock would not let a black student be valedictorian though she had the highest grade-point average, and wouldn’t let her mom speak to the school board about it until graduation had passed, the graduate claims in Federal Court.
Kymberly Wimberly, 18, got only a single B in her 4 years at McGehee Secondary School, and loaded up on Honors and Advanced Placement classes.
She had the highest G.P.A. and says the school’s refusal to let her be sole valedictorian was part of a pattern of discrimination against black students.
Wimberly says that despite earning the highest G.P.A. of the Class of 2011, and being informed of it by a school counselor, “school administrators and personnel treated two other white students as heir[s] apparent to the valedictorian and salutatorian spots.”
Wimberly’s mother is the school’s “certified media specialist.”
She says in the federal discrimination complaint that after her daughter had been told she would be valedictorian, the mother heard “in the copy room that same day, other school personnel expressed concern that Wimberly’s status as valedictorian might cause a ‘big mess.'”
Wimberly is suing the school for deciding to name a white student, who had a lower GPA, as co-valedictorian, and seeks punitive damages and requests that school records be changed to show Wimberly as sole valedictorian.
She also plans to attend Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, in the fall.