An Arkansas high school appointed two valedictorians in their Class of 2011, because the student with the highest GPA was black. According to a lawsuit by 18-year-old Kymberly Wimberly (yes, her real name), she was told earlier this year she would be valedictorian of McGehee Secondary School in Pine Bluff, AR, thanks to her nearly-straight A grades, Honors and AP classes. But Wimberly’s mother is an employee at McGehee Secondary School and overheard talk in the copy room that school personnel were concerned that having a black valedictorian would cause “a big mess.” According to Court House News Service, the high school was “predominantly white and 46 percent African-American,” and the implication is that some white families would resent having the black student’s success. So, on graduation day, both Wimberly and a white student, who had the number two GPA at the school, were both honored as valedictorians. The number three-ranking student, also white, then became the salutatorian. When Wimberly’s mother tried to protest the principal’s decision at a school board meeting, she was told she had filled out the wrong forms and was not permitted to speak.
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