Arkansas High School Decides to Appoint White Co-Valedictorian Because Actual Valedictorian Is Black

OK, see if you can wrap your head around the (racist) logic here. Kymberly Wimberly was the top student at McGehee Secondary School in Little Rock, Arkansas. So, the school named her valedictorian. And then shortly after that they decided to name a co-valedictorian. Why? Because the other student had equally as high a GPA? Nope. The reason it seems has to do with the fact that Wimberly is a black student. According to Think Progress:

School administrators worried that Wimberly's accomplishment would result in a "big mess" at the majority-white school, so Principal Darrell Thompson told the student's mother "that he decided to name a white student as co-valedictorian," even though the white student had a lower G.P.A. The matter is currently pending in federal court.

A decision like this by anyone is absolutely unacceptable, but is especially troubling coming from a person who is supposed to be the head educator at this school. What exactly are they teaching students at McGehee Secondary School?

According to Court House News, Wimberly's mother, Molly Bratton took the matter to the school board but they told her she had filled out the wrong form and she wasn't able to speak on her daughter's behalf. Court House News reports:

The last African-American valedictorian in McGehee School District was in 1989. Wimberly says the school discourages black students from taking honors and advanced placement classes, "by telling them, among other things, that the work was too hard."

"Because of defendants' continuous disparate treatment of African-American students, defendants' actions toward the plaintiff can properly be classed as intentional," the complaint states.

"Defendants did not support African-American students, and did not want to see Wimberly, an African-American young mother as valedictorian.

"But for Wimberly's race, defendants would not have selected a student with a lower G.P.A. than Wimberly to also be a valedictorian." She seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, and an injunction declaring her sole valedictorian of the school's Class of 2011.



AlterNet / By Tara Lohan

Posted at July 25, 2011, 2:00pm

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