by Avyaunn Penn, Your Black World
Kymberly Wimberly, an African-American young lady out of Arkansas, has the highest GPA at McGehee Secondary School according to court documents. Despite this young lady’s achievement, her family has filed papers in court claiming the school denied her rightful valedictorian status because she is black. According to The Huffington Post, Wimberly’s lawyer by the name of John W. Walker included the following in their court filing:
“[The] defendant’s actions were part of a pattern and practice of school administrators and personnel treating the African-American students less favorably than the Caucasian ones…Until Wimberly, the last African-American valedictorian in the McGeeHee school district was in 1989.”
Molly Bratton, Wimberly’s mother, says that she heard school staff discussing her daughter’s position as valedictorian in a negative light and stating that it could be a “big mess.” It appears that in order to suppress tension Darrell Thompson, the high school principal, told Bratton that another student was named “co-valedictorian” although this student’s GPA was lower than that of Wimberly. Thompson had already allowed a press release with the new information to be sent to local papers. The Huffington Post reports that “despite Bratton’s protests, the school board would not hear her appeal on her daughter’s behalf, [and] Wimberly seeks punitive damages for violation of equal protection rights secured by the 14th amendment of the U.S. constitution.”
This is a part of Ayvaunn Penn‘s Black And Making It series. She is also a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.