In a small town in Mississippi, a young black woman earned valedictorian honors. But instead of celebrating she decided to sue the school because she had to share the title with another girl.
As The Washington Post reported, Jasmine Shepard graduated from Cleveland High School in Mississippi last spring. She and another girl were co-valedictorian, but Shepard and her family even after whole year are still mad that she shared the title.
“Prior to 2016, all of Cleveland High School’s valedictorians were white,” the filed lawsuit says. “As a result of the school official’s unprecedented action of making an African-American student share the valedictorian award with a white student, the defendants discriminated against.”
The reason for the shared title is obvious, both students had same grade point averages.
“As such, under school board policy, they were both named valedictorian of their graduating class,” Jamie Jacks, the attorney for the school district, said. “The district’s policy is racially neutral and fair to students.”
Sharing valedictorian honors for students with same grades is common in large schools. Anyhow, Sherry Shepherd, the mother of Jasmine, thinks that disagreeing with the school’s official GPA records makes them irrelevant.
“These children have been attending school with each other since middle school,” she stated. “We know the schedule, we know what they take, and we have a good idea where the discrepancy lies.”
Shepherd is requesting a cash payout for “monetary damages” from the school district. And what is more shocking is that the lawsuit’s demands the title to be taken away from the white girl so that Jasmine Shepard can be declared “sole valedictorian.”
The thing is that the lawsuit wouldn’t happen if the co-valedictorian was also back.
If the GPA numbers are in fact identical, then apparently the lawsuit is only to punish a high-achieving student for simply being white.
Requesting a well-deserved valedictorian title to be taken away from a white student just because she is white is no better than doing so based on dark skin.
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