Family Sues School After First Black Valedictorian 'Forced' To Share Title With White Student
OW Staff Writer | 7/6/2017, 1:38 p.m.
Written by EURweb contributor NY Magee:
Jasmine Shepard was an ace student who was the top of her class and had the highest GPA, but her Mississippi high school forced her to “share” her title with a white student who had a lower GPA.
As Raw Story reports, prior to this year, all of the valedictorians were white and none were forced to share their achievement. However, Jasmine and her family believe the school refuses to let her be great on her own because of her race, so they have filed a lawsuit.
Not only was Shepard forced to deliver her speech to students after her classmate Heather Bouse, she would have also been forced to walk behind the girl had Jasmine not protested.
As The Washington Post notes:
The day before Jasmine Shepard graduated from Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Miss., in May 2016, the school awarded her and a white student the title “co-valedictorian,” according to the suit filed Tuesday in federal court in the Northern District of Mississippi. This was a first in the 110-year history of the school, the suit said, and the decision was made.
As a result of the school official’s unprecedented action of making a black student share the valedictorian award with a white student, the defendants discriminated against.
The Cleveland School District, through an attorney, is calling the suit “frivolous” claiming the students had identical “grade point averages.” But Jasmine’s mother ain’t buying it.
“These children have been attending school with each other since middle school,” she said. “We know the schedule, we know what they take, and we have a good idea where the discrepancy lies.”
She continued, “A child, when they earn honors, they are entitled to receive them.”
Shepard’s mother maintains a JUSTICE FOR JASMINE Facebook page, calling attention to what the family feels is an injustice.