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A white student, attending  Martin Luther King Jr. High School has returned his $1,000 scholarship, originally intended for black students. When Jeffrey Warren, a senior at  Riverside, Calif. school was announced as this year’s recipient of the money, students erupted in laughter.

Unlike Justin Combs—who has also received criticism regarding a scholarship— the boy opted to give the money back to the  Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club, rather than deal with any potential backlash. “They were kind of surprised,” Jeffrey said of winning the award.  “They announced it was for an African-American.” Although the response to getting the award was said to be “mixed,”  the club’s chairwoman, Etta Brown, still accepted the funds.

Given the irony, the club has vowed to change the wording of next year’s scholarship which originally stated that black students were  “encouraged to apply.”  Once he was presented with the award, during the school’s senior awards night, club members were surprised to find out that he was white.  “Jeffrey and I wanted them to be happy,” said his father, Rod, who also happens to be a  language arts teacher at King. “The ladies were trying to do something really nice.”

Jeffrey is just the latest white student to find himself in an awkward situation involving MLK. As previously reported, a white student in Colorado came under fire for showing up to school in black face, to portray the civil rights leader.



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Photo: Press Enterprise