Black Student Can’t Be Valedictorian

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

McGehee High School, southeast of Little Rock, Arkansas, would not let Kymberly Wimberly, 18 and black, be valedictorian even though she had the highest GPA. A white student was named as co-valedictorian even though the white student had a lower GPA. Wimberly’s mother, who works at the school as its certified media specialist, heard school personnel express concern that her daughter’s status as valedictorian might cause a “big mess.”

Unforeseen by school officials, the “big mess” now includes a complaint filed by Wimberly in United States District Court .

Wimberly took Honors and Advanced Placement classes during her senior year in order to raise her almost straight “A” GPA that had been lowered by a lone “B.” When all the seniors’ grades were tabulated, Wimberly had the highest GPA of her class. The next day the principal decided to name a white student, with a lower GPA, as co-valedictorian.

The complaint claims a pattern of racial prejudice at the school. African-American students were discouraged, by school administrators and personnel, from taking the Honors and Advanced Placement classes while Caucasian student had to almost opt out of being assigned to the honor’s track.

The complaint alleges deprivation of rights secured by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as well as violations of the Constitution of the State of Arkansas and various statutory laws. Wimberly is seeking injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief.

At a time when many school districts are facing financial shortfalls, it is refreshing to find a school district willing to risk taxpayer funds on attorney’s fees and jury awards.

H/T: Courthouse News Service, Think Progress.

50 thoughts on “Black Student Can’t Be Valedictorian”

  1. I’m merely impressed that she’s done as well as she has.

    Her parents didn’t do her any favors, when they came down with a nasty case of the cutes in naming her.

    Best of luck, Kymberly.

  2. gbk:

    you are right, my thinking it does not make it so. It is my opinion based on what I have learned over the years about human nature.

    I should ask can you disprove my assumption? Just because Bull Conner was a dispicable human being does not mean every person in Birmingham was as bad.

    In my opinion racism in the south was helped along by peer pressure. I would assume by other things as well such as ignorance.

    Racism is one of the worst of human failings, but fear is a great motivator. So never having done a scientific study, my opinion about peer pressure is just that, an opinion.

  3. Roco,

    Why do you assume I subscribe to “typical leftist mantra”? Need an out for your failure to construct a valid arguement where every paragraph doesn’t start with “I”?

    Merely pointing out that you “think[ing] there were a number [many, in your first statement] of decent people who were forced by the society they lived in to be knuckle heads” does not make it so.

  4. GBK:

    I am not apologizing for anything. I just think there were a number of decent people who were forced by the society they lived in to be knuckle heads.

    I am well aware of what the history books teach in regard African Americans and racism.

    I guess you have succumbed to peer pressure as well. It is a typical leftist mantra that America is an evil racist nation.

  5. Roco,

    “I think there were many southern whites who were caught up in it because of fear of retribution by their neighbors either socially or physically.”

    It’s nice that you think this, and giving people the benefit of the doubt is admirable, but your opinion goes against the grain of US history. Offering an apologist perspective that you “think” is valid shows an inability to accept the realities of this country’s history.

    “Peer pressure is a very strong influence. Most people are not personally strong enough to overcome it.”

    Your posts speak to this well.

  6. Roco,
    The South during the 50’s and 60’s was not led astray by a few hard core racists. Did just a few racists pass all of the laws to keep the blacks from getting an equal shit at the American dream? No.

  7. They are moving back to the south to be closer to you Kdracist….

  8. Roco,

    “Except democratic racism, at least in my mind, is far more insidious. With an overt racist you know what you have and can laugh at them, with the racist who claims to want to help there is no defense.”

    I disagree. All forms of racism are insidious and inexcusable. What’s wrong is wrong. I don’t ever laugh at racists. They scare the hell out of me.

    *****

    “I am well aware of the racial attitudes some southern whites had. Personally I think there were a small minority of hard core racists who kept decent people in line by fear.”

    Explain to me how being an overt hardcore racist is better if one of them can intimidate the majority of people.

  9. Roco
    1, July 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm
    Frank:

    I think Faubus and Fullbright remained democrats and Wallace became an independent.
    =========================================================

    i’m guessing you’re referring to george c wallace?

    wallace only ran as an independent in presidential elections. in gubernatorial elections he always ran as a democrat. in his last election (1982 as i recall) he won only because he got the black vote.

    he won because the republican,montgomery mayor emery folmer, was a serious racist.

  10. Raff

    Yeah, the percentage of actual white racists in the south is down to a record low of 93%.

  11. rafflaw:

    I respectfully disagree. I think there were many southern whites who were caught up in it because of fear of retribution by their neighbors either socially or physically.

    Peer pressure is a very strong influence. Most people are not personally strong enough to overcome it.

  12. I had to read the story twice, to make sure I got it right. The systemic racism in the process at the school for a Black child to get the classes required for consideration coupled with the dissolution of the work she did to get the best grades in her class, proves, that in many ways we have not come as far as everybody thinks we have, especially in some parts of the country…what shame …Good luck to you Ms. Wimberly

  13. Roco,
    Mike A. Is talking about the 50’s and 60’s, not the Reagan years. The racism in the South during those days was pervasive. It wasn’t just a few bad apples.

  14. Roco:

    “Call me corny but I still believe in the goodness of the majority of the people in this world. I am not let down very often.”

    ******************

    You’d be right about that, Roco, They just have lousy press agents. Probably why they’re good.

  15. Mike Appleton:

    I am well aware of the racial attitudes some southern whites had. Personally I think there were a small minority of hard core racists who kept decent people in line by fear.

    And I am well aware that some became republicans during the Reagan years and probably before.

    Racism is not the sole provenance of the republican party, there are many racist democrats as well. Except democratic racism, at least in my mind, is far more insidious. With an overt racist you know what you have and can laugh at them, with the racist who claims to want to help there is no defense.

    I have it heard it called the soft racism of low expectations. It may not be hurtful but it gets the job done. If the job is a desire to frustrate and retard the growth of a race or an individual.

  16. Mike Spindell:

    I knew a law student once, he used to shoplift while I was in the store with him. In fact he was so good, he did it while I was standing next to him and he showed me what he had taken when we left the store. I never went into another store with him again.

    I imagine he is either in jail or rich like the object of your story.

    Although I wouldnt call it an American success story. I still like mine the old fashioned way. Poor boy/girl works hard gets educated starts a company and makes a bunch of money. And doesnt give a shit about who is who.

    Call me corny but I still believe in the goodness of the majority of the people in this world. I am not let down very often.

  17. “Like I said…

    Mankind has not evolved an inch from the slime that spawned him!”

    Bob,

    You’re such a cynic, but ofttimes I so agree.

  18. Roco,

    In truth I feel little about Valedictorians unless one of my children or grandchildren became one. The Valedictorian of my HS class was an Eagle Scout who kept Playboys stashed in his copy of Boy’s Life and faked his religiosity. He purposely cultivated the richest kids in school to increase his status and get ahead. Later I heard he made million$ in an investment fraud, did time and is now living off of his ill-gotten gains. A true American success story.

Comments are closed.