Education

Black Teen: School Named Unfit White Student as Co-Valedictorian

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A black Arkansas valedictorian is suing her former high school for racial discrimination after the school named a white student as a co-valedictorian.

"When I found out I was valedictorian, I was ecstatic," 18-year-old Kymberly Wimberly told ABC News.

However, her happiness was short lived because McGehee High School (McGeehee, Arkansas) decided to name a second student with a lower GPA to stand with her at the top of the class.

Wimberly's mother, who works at the school as a media specialist, claims she overheard school officials saying they wanted to avoid the "big mess" that would happen with Wimberly as valedictorian.

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"I told (the co-valedictorian) this isn't fair. We both know if the tables were turned, there wouldn't be a co-valedictorian." Wimberly said the other student agreed.

The lawsuit alleges there was a "pattern and practice of school administrators and personnel treating the African-American students less favorably than the Caucasian ones."

"There's a history of oppression where people don't speak up for themselves," her lawyer John Walker said. "White students are elevated ahead of black students in order to allow that position to be maintained by white students."

Wimberly is seeking monetary damages as well as demanding that the school record to be changed to show her as the sole valedictorian.

"This won't be a repeat at my school," she said.

Wimberly will enter the University of Arkansas this fall.

ABC News said the McGehee School District did not respond to a request for an interview.