July 26th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Valedictorian sues school: Was she snubbed because of race?

A recent high school graduate from Arkansas is suing her school district, claiming it refused to recognize her as the school's sole valedictorian because she is black.

Kymberly Wimberly, 18, earned the highest grade point average in McGehee Secondary School's 2011 graduating class. She did so as a young mother, according to the complaint she submitted to the U.S. District Court for Arkansas' Eastern District. She was named the school's valedictorian and then later given co-valedictorian status with a white student who had lower grades, her complaint says.

Kymberly Wimberly

No legal response has been filed by lawyers for the school district or any other school or district representatives, according to court officials. Superintendent Thomas Gathen said he has yet to be served with any sort of court documents. Because of this, Gathen said he was unable to comment on several individual issues brought up in Wimberly's complaint.

"The issue that someone’s trying to paint is that this was a racially motivated," Gathen told CNN. "That wasn’t an issue with (the co-valedictorians). This is strictly an academic issue and a policy issue, not a racial issue."

Wimberly is seeking punitive damages of $75,000 and recognition as the sole valedictorian of her class. Wimberly's complaint also argues the McGehee school district, in southeastern Arkansas not too far from the Mississippi River, habitually withheld access to challenging classes from black students.

Wimberly said students were told at a schoolwide assembly that advance placement classes were very rigorous and that only those who really thought they would thrive with intense workloads should elect to take them. Then, individual students were taken aside and told that the classes really weren’t all that bad, she told CNN. The overwhelming majority of those students were white, she said, adding that she was the only black student in her AP literature class and one of two in calculus.

“Black students are meant to stay in regular course levels and mostly play sports,” Wimberly said. “That’s what were good at that that’s what we should stick to - that’s the mentality of McGehee.”

Wimberly said she had one teacher, for AP biology, who encouraged all students to take the class. Its racial makeup was half black, half white, and was more reflective of McGehee's student population, which is 46%  black.

The case has been gaining increasing attention since Courthouse News Service reported on it Monday.

According to the complaint, Wimberly's mother, Molly Bratton, works as the McGehee district's media specialist. On May 10, Bratton learned from the school's counselor that her daughter had earned the top grade point average in her class. After sharing the exciting news with her daughter, she overheard someone in the school's copy room saying the accolade would cause "a big mess," according to the complaint.

Later that day, the complaint says, Bratton confirmed her daughter's status with Superintendent Gathen.

Then things began to unravel, according to Wimberly.

The next day, the school's principal, Darrell Thompson, told Bratton that he had decided to appoint another student, who was white, as a co-valedictorian. CNN was unable to reach Thompson for comment.

The complaint says Thompson attributed the decision to something in the student handbook, though the complaint says he did not list a specific policy.

In regards to recognition of a valedictorian, the McGehee handbook says  that "students must be continuously enrolled at McGehee High School the last two semesters without transferring during this time to be considered in class ranking or eligible for valedictorian or salutatorian status."

The handbook says students will be given the same class rank only if their grades are the same, but in deciding class rank, students with lower GPAs who are taking more or harder classes will not be penalized. Gathen said the Wimberly's co-valedictorian had half a credit more than Wimberly and the difference in the students' GPAs was .03 or .05. Gathen said the outcome would have been the same were the situations reversed.

"I would have made the same decision," he said. "I was the one who made the ultimate decision."

Wimberly said she knew of students sharing the valedictorian position in the past, but only if their GPAs were the same, “down to the very last decimal point.”

When she found out that her daughter would have a co-valedictorian, Bratton called Gathen, who told her he had OK'd Thompson's decision, court documents state. The school's counselor had already sent out a news release to the local community about Wimberly's achievement, but the school then sent out an additional one about the co-valedictorian.

Bratton sought to bring up the issue at a school board meeting but was told by Gathen that it would have to wait for a meeting after the school's graduation ceremony because of an error in the form she filled out, according to the documents.

In addition to these details of the case, the complaint also claims that the district places more emphasis on challenging its white students than its black ones.

"African-American students were not encouraged to take Honors or Advanced Placement classes," the complaint says. "Caucasian students had to almost opt out (of advanced classes)."

Wimberly said she was lucky in that she had parents who would support her academic pursuits, even if many of her teachers would not.

“(Other students’) parents aren’t as active as mine,” Wimberly said. “Think about children who don’t have parents who are active in the school."

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Filed under: Arkansas • Civil Rights • Courts • Education • Justice • Race • U.S.
soundoff (2,063 Responses)
  1. J G

    What is this world coming to? She's suing for $750,000 because she wasn't the sole valedictorian? bwahahhaa.

    We have become such pathetic weaklings and crybabies.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • AJ

      75,000

      July 26, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rodney

      It's $75,000 not $750,000. You obviously were not valedictorian.

      July 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • yalesouth

      umm nick, are you dense? i mean you know for a fact that there is no racial component. since when did whites become the expert on detecting racism, i mean i thin any reasonble person would agree that blks have been contronted with in more heinous ways than just about any other group in the country. so i mean ya i do not know what was behind this, but given our history and culture, there is at least a fair chance that race was a factor. and people tla about why we cannot heal over race in this country, i suspect its partially due to asinine thinking like yours.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      It is because of frivolous lawsuits like this that black people actually usually get their way. They are so quick to claim racism and sue anytime they are inconvenienced. Her supposedly sharp "valedictorian" mind simply apparently can't understand that there was a valid reason why she had to share: "but in deciding class rank, students with lower GPAs who are taking more or harder classes will not be penalized. Gathen said the Wimberly's co-valedictorian had half a credit more than Wimberly and the difference in the students' GPAs was .03 or .05"

      There you have it: the other student had half a credit more and was very barely behind on gpa. Makes perfect sense.

      These racist lawsuits really get old.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • dale

      please do back to school and lern numbers

      July 27, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Cyrus

      Time to change your glasses blind-ass. He is suing for $75K and not $750K.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Think

      @Cyrus Time to change your glasses blind-ass SHE is suing for 75k not he.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      amen. she received the honors and doesn't have to mention an any resume or college application that there was a co-valedictorian as far as I'm aware. Maybe she has bad blood with the other girl and is mad that she gets the same claim on her future applications.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Nick, stop talking before someone thinks you're stupid.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • sueinpennsylvania

      JG...obvioulsy you failed reading...trying 75,000....not 750,000.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • jbmw

      Maybe you need to take reading comprehension class. WOW.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Texasboy

      You're an idiot.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • White 22yr old

      how funny and ironic. We don't even have any inclination that she took the same level difficulty classes as the other girl. Please people don't be "ignant" (yes, it is spelled wrong). Hopefully they will investigate how difficult her course load was compared to the other girl's. Which looks better? an B in AP Calculus...or an A in Algebra III. I think people with any common sense would choose the one who took the AP class. I mean, if you were choosing a restaurant or a hotel, you look at reviews and see one with a rating of 3.8 out of 5 with 50000 reviews and one with a 4.0 out of 5 with 5 reviews. Which one are you most likely to choose? Think before posting stupid and racial crap on here. We do not have enough evidence to say anything about this yet. All this stuff is really annoying. TRUE racists are the one who CRY racist. It goes both ways...(funny laugh).......Just FYI.. Also this is a GREAT way to take our eyes off the real problem in this country right now, which is defaulting and going broke and affecting EVERYONE in this country. Read up on that, and this wouldn't be news anymore. America loves a good and juicy "racism" stories without fully understanding all the details of it. Don't pay attention to them because they are ALL THE SAME! That is all I have to say, thank you and God Bless America.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • White 22yr old

      Correction...."same difficulty level classes" and " a B"..............thanks

      July 27, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • ShaneB

      @White 22yr old – Valedictorian is GPA. It happens frequently that kids take advanced courses and it drops their gpa and it ultimately effects their ranking.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • ShaneB

      ps. there are loads of kids that know that advanced classes affect their gpa and choose "easier" classes to up their numbers, so that whole argument is mute.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      @ShaneB I don't know where you and others learned how GPA is calculated, but AP classes and other harder classes are WEIGHTED which means the difficulty factor is already calculated into the GPA. Therefore, it should not matter at all if one was taking harder classes than the other. It's already factored in. And one half of a credit? This girl should valedictorian because she took something that only last half a semester–which means it was most likely driver's education or some stupid and ridiculously easy social studies course? Please.
      I bet the girl who got co-valedictorian has a very important daddy.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      Sorry, Shane. I meant to direct that at White22yearold.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • TXMarie

      Apparently you've never been a Valedictorian- It's hard work!

      July 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee

      White 22yr old

      how funny and ironic. We don't even have any inclination that she took the same level difficulty classes as the other girl."

      Re-read the article–the black girl took the advancement placed classes as well (in literature and calculus) the other girl had 1/2 more of a credit than she did which means she took some course that had half a credit more–but this does not explain the white girls lower GPA. The black girl then states that she took the AP classes BUT that many black students are discouraged. In short 22 year old white girl–the black girl took the hard courses, still got the best GPA BUT had 1/2 credit less than the white girl–which does not explain why the white girl is co-valedictorian since they BOTH took the hardest classes.

      July 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Claire

    You're probably correct, that it was about morals and not race, but if they didn't have any policy in place that stated anything other than GPA was considered, she still has a case. I doubt she'll get $750K–she's obviously viewing this as a golden opportunity.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • justice

      Either way... Morality based or racially based. It's flat out wrong.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bigman

      RULES ARE RULES; LAWS ARE LAWS WRONG OR RIGHT, YOU MUST WRITE TO THE SCHOOL BOARD, TO THE MAYOR, TO YOUR CONGRESSMAN WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO TO CHANGE TO RULES FOR THE SITUATION, CAN'T JUST MAKE UP A NEW RULE BECAUSE ITS MORAL OR NOT, MUST GO THROUGH THE PROCESS. EXAMPLE: DID YOU KNOW THAT IN NY YOUR LICENCE WILL BE SUSPENDED FOR 1 YEAR IF YOU ARE CAUGHT DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE; BUT IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE BUT ARE CAUGHT DRUNK DRIVING, THEY ONLY SUSPEND YOUR LICENCE FOR 6 MONTHS ? MORALLY WRONG OR RIGHT, WE MUST MAKE A STINK FOR RULE/LAW CHANGES.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      So you're assuming she's trying to cash in and not making a very valid point? Really?
      You're right, she must be a lazy deadbeat to be at the top of her class as a mother. Think about that just for a minute. Lawsuits SHOULD be about social justice, and this one is, IMHO.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      bull
      she's crying cause she was loose with her pants

      July 26, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • bestever2682

      well said

      July 27, 2011 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Money

      Then she should get awarded sole valedictorian, but she shouldn't get any money in a settlement.

      July 27, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      Great comment! When there is an obvious affront, justice should be pursued and served! What does she have to lose? She's not going to be a student there, and she has no compunction to divulge any of this on a college app, which have probably already been submitted and reviewed before this hit the news outlets!

      July 27, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Macy

      I totally agree

      July 27, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Peri

      Great point.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • kristjan

      What should have been seen as a great achievement has turned into a slap to the face for this girl. Earning..yes EARNING the top mark in your high school is hard enough, but to do it as a single mother is plain amazing! That is called determination. Shame on this school for taking this single honour away from her. By the way it was $75,000 not $750,000 and I don't think it is about the money. The damages sought are a way to make the school think twice in the future. Be a man Mr. Thompson and admit you made a mistake and move on. Call me when you graduate from college, I would hire someone like her..hard worker, smart and determined.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      That's right, a golden opportunity- for WHAT? An attempt to make a lot of money without having to work for it? I'm sure that's how she got to be valedictorian, by being a lazy opportunist and whining.
      AP classes are weighted into the GPA so I think this whole argument is nonsense. Either her GPA was tied for first or it wasn't. She deserves every single thing she has worked her butt off for.
      If she said she should get special treatment because she's black or because she's a single mother then she'd be way off base. She earned her status as the number one student in her class. Why is it OK to dilute that?

      July 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liligi

      LOL... Aww ur ideas are funny.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Bambi

      The problem is that two straight-A students could take the same number of AP classes, yet if one student took more electives than the other, the student with the most credits would have the lower GPA. That's not fair, and that's why the student handbook says that students with lower GPAs who are taking more classes will not be penalized.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Raymond

      We gotta keep those blacks in their place now, so colm down.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Totally agree. Its your GPA, not your story that gets you made valedictorian. period.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Austio

      Not all schools weight in AP classes. Stupid, I know. Mine did not, and we had a valedictorian who took all none-AP classes just to maintain a 4.0.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • mypoint2012

      Obviously you're not too smart. It's 75k, not 750k. Maybe you should take an AP class in math.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • NC Singlemom

      or reading

      July 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      reading and reading comprehension fall under math?

      July 26, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mylesmom

      Hilarious!!!!!!!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • biggerballz

      more likely a remidial one

      July 27, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Chas

      Correction, READING

      July 27, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Stumpy

      75K... I think she deserves more than that. I see no reasonable answer for how she was treated.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • yannaes

      Mypoint:

      Obviously, (you forgot the comma) does that mean you are not that smart?

      July 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kara

      More like AP english not math. It's about READING the number's in the article, nothing about math.

      August 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • LastDinosaur

      Well, it says she sued in federal court. Her lawyer may have been desperate for a jurisdictional basis that would stick, so s/he threw in the kitchen sink of "qualifiers." You need $75k + parties from different states to bring a diversity suit in federal court; and although there may not be diversity of citizenship, the case promotes educational diversity (see the second allegation, regarding the racial composition of AP classes), which is close enough, right?

      But seriously, it's probably a good idea to shoot for a federal forum rather than let the Arkansas state court system decide what to do with a black plaintiff' novel race-based claim.

      July 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice

      Her jurisdictional basis for the federal court has nothing to do with diversity of citizenship. She is suing under a federal law. Idiot.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Civ Pro

      This lawsuit is about race so it falls under Federal Law, no need for diversity here, go back to Law School and retake your Civil Procedure Class fool.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Rodney

      Read the story. She's asking for $75,000...not $750,000. Probably just enough to pay for her college degree now that a scholarship is out of the question because she went from Valedictorian to Co-Valedictorian.

      July 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      There is so much affirmative action for blacks these days, that it corresponds to 298 point bonus on the SAT. Blacks are accepted at a rate of about 44% at some Ivy League colleges compared to 9% for whites, and WITH hundreds of points lower SATs than whites. She didn't run any risk on "not being able to finance college."

      Second, where is all the righteous indignation over affirmative action? I'm quite sure that that is OPEN DISCRIMINATION against whites based solely on race.

      She is a gold digger. The black superintendent made the decision he did because "but in deciding class rank, students with lower GPAs who are taking more or harder classes will not be penalized. Gathen said the Wimberly's co-valedictorian had half a credit more than Wimberly and the difference in the students' GPAs was .03 or .05

      July 26, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spockette

      I do not think a "co-val" would, in any way, affect scholarships.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • yarnzzz

      a) $75,000 will barely pay for a 4-year degree at some colleges.
      b) Despite only being 8th in my class, I received a full scholarship to college. Valedictorian status is not required to succeed in college or life.

      July 27, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • mattqu

      ... Are you kidding? Are you saying only valedictorians get scholarships? Besides, she is still valedictorian at her school. There are just two of them. Universities don't care about co status. Don't pretend she's just trying to pay for school, her financial status is never brought up, so you're just creating facts to fit your story.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      you think 75k will pay for a college education? no offense, but a reality check is in order. that wont get you through two years in many private unis.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Uh

      scholarship is out of the question?? Maybe if she were a white male, the move from valedictorian to co-valedictorian would knock her off the scholarship list, but seeing how she is a black female co-valedictorian, her school will be paid for. That's a virtual guarantee.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Georgia

      I totally agree with Rodney. It doesn't matter what she has done. If she is the valedictorian then she deserves recognition. Black, white, purple, or yellow. Should not be an issue.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Interested party

      75k is the jurisdictional minimum or off to state court you trot–complete with it's marginally competent judges. No good attorney seeking righteous results files in state court. You file in federal court as a plaintiff if you want a just verdict. It is notoriously harder for plaintiffs to win in federal court so this choice is not an indicator of finical motive.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hades

      Umm.. I wasnt Valedictorian, Co-Valedictorian or even in the top 5% and I got a scholarship. You dont have to play sports or be Valedictorian to get a scholarship dude :(

      And if she is Co-Valedictorian and cant get a free ride someplace nice. She wouldnt have even if she was Valedictorian

      August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • debillo

      note that she is asking only $75,000, not $750,000. Does anyone realize how important valedictorian status is to a college bound person? I'm thrilled she's taking them on. Arkansas has always been a racially stunted state, and this proves to me that things haven't changed much since Brown vs the Board of Education. This white grandma says "You go, Girl'!

      July 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Bless you "White Grandma".

      July 27, 2011 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Think

      Not that important because most college applications are finished before the last semester of a college bound student.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      You know blacks just make fun of you when you try to be like one of them right?

      July 27, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      You know blacks just make fun of you when you try to be like one of them right? ?.............

      July 27, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      She did get the valedictorian status. and she will be able to use it on he resume. She doesn't have to mention that there was a co-valedictorian. And the same goes for the other girl that received the honors. If it's true that the other girl had a half credit more and there was only a difference of .03 to .05 in their respective GPA's, then most schools would have acted in the same manner. Completely baseless imo

      July 27, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Fartjar

      All you did was confirm your bias against a southern state.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Erin

      That "status" is about as important as having graduated period. Literally thousands of valedictorians applying to the same top schools and being valedictorian doesn't make a lick of difference getting in. It's not a golden ticket to getting into a school. The valedictorian for my graduating class didn't get into Berkeley or Stanford – she was as average as the thousands of other kids with the same GPA, same activities, same essay, same same same.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Yolanda Moore

      AWESOME response debillo!!!!! You ROCK!!!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary B

      Exactly!!

      July 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • cardsafan65

      @ devosays.....and that's why they're angry,they're scared that they are becoming a minority race

      July 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      It's 75k not 750k.. Last time I checked 75k was not rich.

      July 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      You fool, who do you think would pay the 75k, the tax payers. Take her do nuffin butt and tell her to get a job or go on to college but stop looking for a handout.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Explain that to Hollywood!!!

      July 26, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bitnar

      75k.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • lgny

      Nah, lawyers just know that if you don't tack on a big figure no one will take it seriously. If she sued for $10K, you'd be posting that she's an idiot. In the end, the court decides what is fair.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • david, USN RET (SS)

      She is only asking for $75,000 not $750,000

      July 26, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trollme

      Read.

      $75K

      July 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      The funniest part of this comment is that you don't even know how to spell "hear hear" :)

      July 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      She wants $75K, not $750K

      July 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • NothingsNew

      $75K might be enough to help pay for college, but it's not that much money.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Can U Actually Read?!?!

      I just have to point out how ridiculous some of the comments are.

      The Principal decided to have the co-valedictorian NOT the Superintendent (look at the 12th paragraph) after the Superintendent had verified to the girls Mom that she infact had the highest GPA.

      Claire – The lawsuit is for $75K that is a HUGE difference from $750K and is obviously not a "golden" ticket or opportunity.

      It is obvious most people here need to go back to school for reading comprehension!

      July 27, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • CynicLgrrl

      it's $75k not 750

      July 27, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Earthlin

      It is hear, hear you illiterate dim wit. If Caucasians, or Asians are minorities, it does not matter. You can have a majority of blacks or mexicans, and guess what you get? You get the cesspool that is Africa and Mexico. Don't want to accept it? Visit inner Detroit and watch the monkeys act barbaric.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • NMGrrL

      She is requesting $75,000, not $750,000. If you think there is a question of morals here, what about the morality of racial discrimination? Is it OK to discriminate against a high-achieving young woman simply because she has dark skin? Is it fine to discriminate because she is a single parent? BOTH of those things are violations under federal statutes for things ranging from lending to housing, to employment, etc. Should her SCHOOL be allowed to flout the law, and the spirit of Brown vs. Board of Education and its progeny to discriminate? I think the morality problem lies with the principal and the district here – and the "co-valedictorian" who should know she did not deserve the honor. Shame on ALL of them.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Bambi

      It's because the co-valedictorian had an extra half credit, which diluted his/her weighted GPA. This policy was already in place:

      "The handbook says students will be given the same class rank only if their grades are the same, but in deciding class rank, students with lower GPAs who are taking more or harder classes will not be penalized."

      July 27, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Marky

      The young lady might just be sick of seeing this happen over and over to many other students, as well as herself. I simply cannot see the fairness in this situation. I know it would be hard to be so close and not be Valedictorian, but this is the sorriest case of nit-picking I think I've seen in a long time. Scholarship money and admission to the college she wants to go to, hinges on her status, and she has earned it. Would you say the same thing if it was the other way round?

      July 27, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Oi

      The suit is for $75K, not $750K, and I'm sure it's largely symbolic.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
    • teacher in Arkansas

      Claire,

      It is $75,000 and not $750,000 BIG difference!

      July 27, 2011 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      There is a policy in place (according to this article) which states that something other than a simple GPA is used. The handbook also says that taking more or harder classes should not penalize the student in determining class rank. This girl chose classes which resulted in 1/2 credit less than the other student and is now contending that, despite what the handbook says, this other student should be penalized for taking a more demanding course load in the determination of class rank. At the college from which I graduated, she would have been laughed off the podium if she presented herself as the sole valedictorian over a student who took more credit hours. She needs a reality check.. and to stop depending on her race to get favorable treatment when she doesn't like the rules.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      I doubt she'll get $750,000 because she's only suing for $75,000. Hurrrrr....

      July 27, 2011 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Loreeeeeeee

      Where do you get 750,000?

      July 27, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Nobody N. Particular

      Read carefully, it was $75,000 not $750,000.

      July 27, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Scooby Snack

      $75,000. Read.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Maxine

      The article says she's asking for 75K, not 750K. Sounds to me like she deserves it. It will go along way towards a college education.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • NAVET

      True...and she only asked for $75,000 which will mostly go to lawyers....this kind of thing should not still be happening in America....sad

      July 27, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Maybe she just wants what she has earned? You must be white.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • SncrDerelict

      Can you read? The articles says $75,000 not $750,000.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • will

      You should read the article carefully before giving an opinion on how that young lady is viewing this. The article clearly states that she is seeking $75,000 not $750,000 ten times more according to you statement...

      July 27, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Liesel

      It's 75k, not 750. And she wants to be named sole valedictorian. It sounds like it's more a principle thing than anything else.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • sueinpennsylvania

      The story said 75,000...not 750,000. That is a big difference. So if 75,000 really going for a 'golden opportunity"? Obviously this school (not surprising with it being down south) is typically republican...trying to keep the middle and lower class in it's place....not trying to motivate ALL kids to aspire to be all they can be and rise to the top.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • MegaRedd

      The article only says $75k, not 750

      July 27, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Peri

      Well if she was actually trying to get 750K as you state, you may have a point. But she's not. Read again...

      July 27, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Texasboy

      Pay attention. The amount was $75K, not $750K- a slap-on-the-wrist amount which, I believe, is being sought only to make a point.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • jheron

      That's 75K...and she had to put down some number....maybe that is close to the cost of her college education.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Wayne Rice

      It's not $750,000; it's $75,000, which is the lowest amount a plaintiff may plead in a federal court case not involving a federal question. I don't see this as a case asking for money as much as a request that the court step in to ensure that the process of naming a co-valedictorian was fair.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Skippy

      $75K

      July 27, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Kmart

      Did you read the article? She's seeking 75K NOT 750K.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • KH

      A golden opportunity? Please.. Why can't this young lady be given the honor of valedictorian? She earned it! She had challenges along the way, but with hard work and perserverance, she accomplished a great thing.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • hippypoet

      she should have seen the school she was is as her golden opportunity.... money is evil, it makes good people do evil things. and perhaps she was even friends with this white kid, but alas race is always a hot topic...lets make some money!

      July 27, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • sara

      it looks at though the "trolls" can't read either. 75,000!

      July 27, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • kienne

      MORALS???? THAT'S BULLCRAP!!!!!! HIGHEST GRADES GET VALEDICTORIAN STATUS.... PERIOD..... PLACING JUDGEMENT ON HER DECISION OF HAVING A CHILD IS NONE OF THE SCHOOLS BUSINESS.... GRADES ARE ALL THAT MATTER IN THIS SITUATION!!!!! AND SHE DESERVES HER CREDIT AND RECOGNITION!!!!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Nicanadian

      Claire, you were obviously not your class' valedictorian... $75,000 is not the same as $750K !

      July 27, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      75K

      July 27, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      75k is a golden Opportunity? Not really. It will help pay for her Schooling which it appears the White Trash at her school didn't want her to receive. I hope she wins. And I hope she moves the hell out or that piece of craap state and brings her brains and work ethic to the North where it will be honored.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Kell

      It is $75k not $750k. That $75k is actually very reasonable. There are lots of college scholarships and such which would now be split between her and the co-valedictorian, as well as many colleges which may not give as much scholarship as her accomplishments was not alone.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Leah

      Well her golden opportunity, according to the article, is worth $75,000, not $750,000.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • pinj

      75000 or 75k. if you think thats a lot of money, well you have no idea what a lot of money is

      July 27, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • RandomOne

      She's suing for $75K, not $750K. Big difference! Those poor, racist school officials are probably thinking that a black, single mother who worked her butt off to get the best grades in the class just makes all their prized white kids look lazy and stupid.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • gremlinus

      It was 75K, not 750K. That will get eaten up in legal fees and expenses.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • JustFax

      She is only asking for $75,000, so, yah, she probably won't get $750,000.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      It's 75,000 not 750,000

      July 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jodey

      Pssst: the damages sought are only $75,000.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • chlordane

      the amount is $75,000, not $750,000.
      read it again, for clarity if you must, or just ctrl+f to find the text on screen.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophieCat

      Well it IS a "golden opportunity" – it's a golden opportunity to realize first-hand that people are IDIOTS and there's no cure for that. They were born IDIOTS and they've risen to positions of power by IDIOCY, because IDIOCY is widespread and common as pig tracks. Her Principal should have stood up for her and supported her instead of recommending her as a "co-valedictorian" because "someone's going to make a fuss". Let 'em. Let 'em make a fuss, and let 'em take a gander at the co-valedictorian's GPA and then help them understand that the student with the highest GPA gets to be valedictorian.

      Use Itty-bitty words so the IDIOTS can comprehend the concept of the highest GPA becoming Valedictorian. But first, get the IDIOT sitting behind the Principal's desk and the IDIOTS over in the Superintendent's Office on board with their own "policy" about GPA and Valedictorian.

      Obviously the IDIOTS running this school district don't get out often enough to know what their own policy says.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Varena

      It's 75,000 not 750,000

      July 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazmin

      She is actually only suing for 75k not 750K. Additionally, the odds are that she chose that number to make sure it gets in federal court because the minimum amount in controversy to get into federal court is 75,000. Additionally, I am sure she would have preferred not to incur legal fees to get the sole recognition that she worked so hard to receive.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      "Wimberly is seeking punitive damages of $75,000" not $750.000 a big difference in today's economy!

      July 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rancher

      Claire, it's 75K, Not 750K. 75K is not very much after taxes, maybe enough to pay for one year of college. Listen, here's the rub. A single mother works her butt off to have a near perfect GPA and is denied the honor of having everyone know her accomplishment? That seems very counterproductive for the school from a P/R standpoint. That is, unless they se blacks as inferior to whites, and this accomplishment as a blight upon their schools reputation. There should be punitive monetary damages to assure that this does not happen again, anywhere. How degrading. It basically tells all students that are not white that their efforts towards excellence have no meaning. The school officials are essentially displaying a race card of inequality based upon a former racial caste society that is still embedded deep in their subconscious. How dare an 'untouchable' win honors. Where are we living... in 1930s India... or the US of A?

      August 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • 07Cindy

      Per the article, she is asking for $75,000. She may not receive that amount either, but I applaud her taking a stand for her rights in an acceptable manner!!

      August 3, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • teedee

      75K not 750K – big difference

      August 8, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • lorasam

      She's suing for $75k not 750K. U guys seem to write the way u read. Ck your spelling B 4 'posting' please.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Canadian Genius

    If this is the worst thing that ever happens to this person, she will have an easy life indeed. Stop whining and move on.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • someone

      What an ignorant post! This crime of nominating a "co-valedictorian" for no other purpose than wanting a white person honored for being of a particular race is criminal and will reduce her chances of getting a scholarship for a great university which she clearly deserves.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. manemang

    Shouldn't the school be proud of this black girl with a child who beat all odds to be the best in her class? Shouldn't the school use her to promote the indomitable spirit of being an American...that nothing can stop you from your goals if you really try harder. Contrast it with Sarah Palin's daughter who had to get a GED and is now a celebrity making millions of dollars out of ignorant people like the ones bashing this young lady here. I feel for any black person who beats a white person in school work or politics. This is the only domain where they claim superiority.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Big D

      How about the african american sports stars, the african american RAP stars, the african american talk show hosts who make millions and don't even know basic math and do not even have a high school diploma nor a GED??? Let's not make this a race thing. Let's face it, us african americans need to stand up and stop killing each other and focus our energy on educating our youth and until this happens, much to my dislike, it only fuels the division that exists and further divides our cultures.

      July 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • OnlyAmerican

      Blacks who immigrate from this country don't have this problem. They are not weighted down with the brain-washing that everything done must be a racist event.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • DHarri

      Very well put Big D.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      This right here is the problem. It should not be about "claiming superiority"

      July 27, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Big D, you have no culture. Can you say Oreo?

      July 27, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Megs148

      Debbie, are you serious, or are you being sarcastic? Not wanting your own people to kill each other and instead educate our children makes you "not black". Wow, if you are serious (and I hope you are not) it is backwards thinking like that that is a problem all over this country, for all races.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • SophieCat

      Hey, it's ARKANSAS. What do you EXPECT???

      July 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Canadian Genius

    I hope she gets enough money to buy a new name.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mmmmm

      Yes but kymberly wimberly will get her dollar for being a scholar...

      July 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ManEagle

      haha, thank you for putting a smile on my face this morning

      July 27, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Larry

    WEhere did my comment go about her having the highest GPA and deserving the recognition?

    July 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • George

      It was deleted by a white CNN moderator.

      July 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • ShaneB

      More likely someone misread it, and reported it for abuse. There's been a lot of misreading lately.
      But yeah she deserves sole recognition, the math doesn't lie. It doesn't matter if she were a llama, if the made better scores than the rest then the llama should be valedictorian.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • StephenG

      @Shane- Totally agree. She deserved the sole honor and distinction.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. George

    I don't understand how having an unwed mom would make her have the highest GPA in the entire school, which made the white school principal so uncomfortable that he chose a white student with a lower GPA to be a "co-valedictorian". Can you please explain?

    July 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • simone

      Black or white an unwed mother representing the school looks real bad. Tough decision for administrators. He should have given her fair and square recognition for her accomplishments.

      July 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      So she paraded them around like they were exceptional. Bad example for america right. Not a sharp comment.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dobie

      I imagine it was more that they didn't want to hold up an unmarried teenager with a child as a role model for her fellow students.

      July 26, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam27

      I can see how it can be controversial to name an unmarried young mother as a valedictorian. However, it is the outstanding grades that determine who the valedictorian of the class is. This young lady is also a great role model for ALL students because she has shown that regardless of each person's challenges and responsabilities, with hard work and determination, we can all achieve our dreams.

      July 26, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla

      Look at it in this way – if we were both competing for this prize which is solely based on GPA and mine was not on the same level as yours, would you want to share it with me? Would you feel that I deserved it? Also, notice that I do not apply race or gender here.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Nobody can explain, since we (like the student) are assuming we know the principal's motives. Her opinion seems to be based on hearsay of other students, who as we all know, are incapable of lying or exaggerating.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Becky

      Did you not read the article?

      July 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Becky

      Did you read the article?

      July 26, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      Hey moron, it says in the article why:"but in deciding class rank, students with lower GPAs who are taking more or harder classes will not be penalized. Gathen said the Wimberly's co-valedictorian had half a credit more than Wimberly and the difference in the students' GPAs was .03 or .05"

      And the person who made the decision was BLACK– he was the superintendent, not a white guy.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • davec

      Kimberly had the highest GPA. She was also an unwed mother.

      Incidently, my sister was an unwed mother and was not allowed to finish school with the rest of her class. She had to go at night to pick up assignments and take tests. She is white. Times have changed. We are very proud of her for finishing.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      I don't understand how this poor black girl (who wasn't smart enough to wait until after she graduated to spread her legs) was caused $75,000 in damage because she had to share the valedictorian honors with a white student who had half a credit more than her but I'm sure the courts will explain to her that this wasn't her cash cow and to go find a job.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • DHarri

      You misread the white student had a half a credit more then the other girl, while it was close she should set an example and show some class and be proud to co share this honor. Her parents are teaching her how to use her race as a tool speaks volumes.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • OnlyAmerican

      Guess that "black" principle part escaped you?

      July 27, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Kase

      The principal is black. While she is an unwed mother she still apparently worked her butt off to get her grades. The question seems to be if she had the highest GPA and that's the only factor that matters for the position than why was a white student elected to be co-val with her with a lower GPA. But this says the other student was negligibly higher in which case if that's true they deserve the honor. It seems to be a bit of a mess.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Bambi

      From the article, it sounds like the only reason the co-valedictorian had a lower GPA than Kymberly was because he/she took an extra half credit which diluted his/her >4.0 GPA.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
    • teacher in Arkansas

      Okay, George

      She had the higher GPA to be considered for the position. After reading the McGehee High School handbook online, I could not find the passage the principal alluded to in order to justify the selection of a co-Valedictorian. You can read the handbook online at http://www.edline.net/files/_IKIuU_/398988b9b7b02eef3745a49013852ec4/MHS_2010_Handbook.pdf

      This is not a racial issue... it is a policy issue. If he claimed that the decision was based on the handbook, the district hasn't got a leg to stand on. Seeing that she took missed 3 weeks of school instead of the normal six to have a baby, and made up all her work in the manner described by the handbook, she followed school policy.

      I would suggest that people read the handbook and then post your comments. Clearly, the Supt. should have talked to the district's legal team before making a judgement call...something he is not known to make very well here.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • trashlady

      Makes no sense to me either.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
    • roger

      your conclusion -your opinion...much like those obsessed with race as an issue (racists)

      July 27, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      It didn't. The other student was also named because of an existing school policy to consider the number of total credits along with GPA. The second student had a slightly lower GPA, but had more overall credits.
      Neither race, nor the fact that Miss Wimberly had a child was a consideration.

      In addition, her mother should be smacked up-side the head for naming her daughter "Kymberly Wimberly."

      July 27, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      The only person who said they were uncomfortable was her eavesdropping mother.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      The argument given by the school seems to be that the other student earned more credits and was only .03 or .05 lower. The number of AP courses both took may become an issue if this actually goes to court too. The problem that the plaintiff will have with the argument that it's always been just GPA in the past is a lack or records kept on the decision making process. Also such an argument would be hard to prove without looking at the academic achievements of past students and that gets into privacy issues.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • SB

      The story doesn't say she had an unwed mom, it said she IS an unwed mom, which is probably related to the district's discomfort (not saying that's a legitimate excuse, just clarifying what the story said)

      July 27, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • L

      It doesn't state her being a teen mom made her a valedictorian. It is implying how much harder she worked to get where she is.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Principle was black, get the facts before you start spewing your racist dribble.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • m

      Principal white. Supt. black.

      I can understand ppls views but when u live in small towns, u c a lot of things that r wrong and really DO involve race and discrimination. It's just hard to believe in this day and age its still an issue.

      When my daughter left that school (as an honor grad) her new counselor was surprised to find out that she had not been offered a chance to take more advanced courses. Since then, she has earned several hours of college credit..... So, something is not right.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Curtis Johnson

      Stop seeing and reading race into this situation. It a matter of fairness. If you were the best then you deserve to be recognized as the best... not co-best. It should be an easy investigation by the Supertindent as he should already know the standards by which a Valedictiorian is chosen in his district. Did she meet those requirements? Has any other minorities ever earned Valedictorian at this school? This young lady is bringing forth an important issue as would any of you who are responding in a negative way to this article. If something like this happened to you on your job no matter what the race of the person was, you would be pressing your managers/supervisors for answers too. I know because I am a manager who manages a large group of people.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • jbmw

      George her grades gave her the highest GPA, even though she had a child to care for. Most kids don't have that obstacle and can barely pass to the next grade let alone become the valedictorian. I'm sure she would rather have not gotten pregnant, but she did, and she is dealing with it, quite well. And $75,000 MIGHT pay for a year of college. The school messed up.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Curtis Johnson

      Grown ups...Stop cheating these children out of what they are due. Our American problem is that we have too many children running the country and not being fair and they are suppose to be grown. These kids learn from us and if we as grown people can't be fair then how can we expect them to be fair as they become adults.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • It IsFair

      George, go re-read the story. It says the co-valedictorian had a half point HIGHER than Wimberly. *Higher* is the key, however, not enough to really change things too much. Therefore, we can surely see how the other student having a half point higher should have also been included without incident in the interest of Fairness. So, this should not turn into a racial divide but rather what is truly *fair* if the girl believes in being fair to others as well.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      I think they're suggesting that the graduation ceremony would be disrupted by the white population of the town.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • bris

      The stigma attached to unwed under-age African American and Latina mothers as being a stereotype and typical of the those communities. To recognize them as the best of the best goes against what the "greater" community is comfortable with.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • ShaneB

      I agree it makes no sense. It may just as well be about the unwed mother as much as race, because there isn't a mathmatical leg to stand on in their evaluation.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • jacques poutine

      Try working on the whole reading/comprehension thing a little bit more. I'm not even fluent english and I understood it just fine..

      The girl is a single teen mother, not that she has a single mother

      Morons should be limited to computers without keyboards.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Punkass

      Wow dude, sorry but total comment fail. I have no idea what the eff you are talking about lol. Her GPA has nothing to do with her being a mother. And her being a mother has nothing to do with the principle's decision

      July 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mariah

      You're in denial George. Its ok though.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      This must be the dummest graduating class in the country.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • lestalk

      Perhpas it has something to do with her being enrolled for 2 semesters straight. How much time was she off on Maternity leave?

      July 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      It's called racism. The facts speak louder than opinions or impressions. I think she has a good case. More power to her. And I'm not black myself.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee

      Maybe it was not her unwed moral status–maybe the principal did not want a black person to be seen as smarter than all those white students and then her also being a single mother was a bigger slap in the face. Either way–forcing her to share the position was not right and if it had been reversed most of the defenders would have been screaming that the covaledictorian was just another example of discrimination and Affirmative Action–but since it is a black with the best grades and white riding the coattails–she should just get over it? Hope she takes it all the way to the Supreme Court

      July 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dede

      Well, George, being valedictorian has nothing to do with whether or not you have a child. It has to do with getting the highest grades in the school – which the article said she did. Because she worked harder than anyone else.

      It's not a popularity prize – it's the highest GPA which is only something you can get if you work very, very hard.

      And if we're going to exclude people from valedictorian because they had kids, maybe we can start excluding the fathers as well.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christina Cook

      Being an unwed, or wed mom (or not a parent at all) doesn't "make" you get any GPA. Do all people who don't have kids get the same GPA? She had help with the baby while she was in class, and was able to use that time to apply to her studies. There is no conspiracy here- the girl worked her ass off.

      August 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anthony

    This story sheds a light on issues that blacks are still facing everyday across this country. She should fight until her last breath. She earned it and the fact that she did it after having a child should really make her proud. This is a slap in the face and I hope she gets every dime. As a Black man I just want to see this country really treat us as equals.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Canadian Genius

      You may have a point, but I can think of many things more important to "fight to the last breath" for. There is something to be said for picking your battles wisely.

      July 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • DHarri

      She had a half a credit lower than the other student, they both should be proud in co-sharing this honor whats wrong with you? This should have been a teachable moment instead this girl is trying to get a pay-check, really?

      July 27, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I agree DHarri. As i said in a different post, maybe she has bad blood with the girl she had to share it with. Maybe they were always competing in their AP classes. Maybe the other girl slept with her boyfriend. Who knows.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeC

      Yes treat people as equals! That means no more race card. And you know and I know that will never happen. Thousands of generations from now there will be someone who claims that my great, great, great , great , great , ....grandparents knew some body that knew some body that might have had a slave as a relative. So you owe me. And you know what it will work! So again I am sorry that your past culture was enslaved but you sir were not and for generations never even met a slave. It gets very tiring.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. CO.SENS

    DISLIKE!!!

    July 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Pattysboi

    It's clear that Ms. Limberly was discriminated against because of her color as well as being a single parent. I hope she wins her suit!

    July 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • OnlyAmerican

      The man making the decision was black and was the principle (i.e. the guy in charge). Not sure how she's going to claim he was racist.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      Discriminated against? Really? Was she NOT the valedictorian? Did she lose the honorarium to someone else, or did she have to endure the horror of sharing the limelight for a brief moment in her life?

      July 27, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Yup, clear as mud.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      You're so right, Pattysboi. The same thing happened here last year. The girl with the highest GPA was black and was told she had to share with a Hispanic girl who had a lower GPA. The reason? The Hispanic girl was an immigrant and "had to overcome many obstacles" to get her 2-point lower GPA. The black girl, the true valedictorian, declined the honor and refused to make a speech at graduation. I was proud of her. Stand up for what you've earned.

      The Hispanic girl made a speech no one could understand because her english was so poor. A total disaster.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. CO.SENS

    OBVIOUSLY YOUR MOTHER DID NOT DO A GOOD JOB. YOU ARE JUDGING HER AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HER.....

    July 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      After reading this quote from Wimberly decide for yourself who has a more racist/sterotypical mentality

      “Black students are meant to stay in regular course levels and mostly play sports,” Wimberly said. “That’s what were good at that that’s what we should stick to – that’s the mentality of McGehee.”

      July 27, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • TXMarie

      Sounds like you're blaming "The Mother"... where was "The Father"?

      July 27, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. KimChiAustin

    Are any of you actually from the Louisiana/Mississippi/Arkansas area? It's VERY common in those states, in rural schools, to have one black/one white Valedictorian/Prom King/Prom Queen because of racial "tradition." Basically, the older generation would have a fit if one of each wasn't represented. It was very unfair to both parties involved. No one should be judged on their skin color, but the merit that got them the accolades in the first place.

    Also, why are people calling this young lady rude names? Are you the same people that would be up in arms if she weren't in school collecting welfare? Here's an obviously intelligent woman (who made a mistake that many young women seem to make these days), and instead of signing up for a reality show, sitting around collecting welfare, or creating a hoarde of fatherless children, she's actually still in school and excelling at it. Nowadays when every little recognition means the difference in getting that scholarship or not, she has every right to contest this.

    Small-minded people like you are the reason I moved away from the backwards-thinking regions of the States.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ACM

      I LOVE kimchi!!!

      July 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • NothingsNew

      That's sad.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Oi

      Good post.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      She still got the recognition. They didn't take it away from her and award it to the white girl. She can still claim valedictorian status. Why are you people not understanding this? She's just whining cuz wah wah, I have to share the limelight.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Man this is one of the rough things that happen in life. I don't know enough to say whether the girl was wronged or not but I did take a few things away that I would like to share in case anyone else didn't notice.

      1. It's great that an issue is coming up where blacks are demanding to be challenged in school. For far too long in places like south Dallas (using this as example cause I've seen it first hand) with a majority of blacks have given their students 55% just for showing up! Of course the grade only goes up from their if you participate. This really leaves these kids at a disadvantage once they get out and have to compete.

      2. Some white people need to quit antagonizing the racial issue, we get it this one was a reacher, don't say things just to anger people so you can get a good laugh. It's insensitive.

      3. Some black people seem to latch on to anything and act live its the "great plight of the black man", get over it dude this was a black principle that made the decision and their GPA was in fact very close, with the other student having taken extra classes. Even if it was a half of a credit, she was only beat by 0.03. Weighs out pretty close to me.

      4. Since when did having a baby as a teen our of wedlock become an honorable thing? Not to sound insensitive but I would word it that she accomplished these great things despite having these added responsibilities. So should our AP students start having babies out of wedlock to boost their chances of success, because hey everyone likes a story like this and the girls that kept her legs closed is in a dead tie with the one who didn't. Under this logic she should go out and get pregnant. This is not a good path for us obviously.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • kienne

      @ STEVE... BULL CRAP! SHE WAS MAD E CO- VALEDICTORIAN NOT VALEDICTORIAN...... SHE WAS GIVEN SECOND PLACE TO A WHITE STUDENT WITH LOWER GRADES. VALEDICTORIAN DOESN'T HAVE TO SHARE THE LIMELIGHT WITH ANYONE!!!! THAT'S WHAT THEY EARN!

      July 27, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Punkass

      Are you actually implying everyone should be nice to her and not make "rude" comments because she's black and not on welfare? Are you kidding me? Ppl would make these comments regardless of race. Grow up, accept free speech. The girl made a big accomplishment, she had to share it with someone else who also worked hard and happens to be white, who the hell cares? This girls lawsuit is pathetic and should have been filed in the 1960's where it might have flied.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • StephenG

      The girl had the higest GPA based on the district's own *weighted grading policies*. This means that an A in honors/ap is 5.0 not just a 4.0. This girl deserves to be the only valedictorian and not have to share the pride and esteem of her accomplishment.

      People who haven't worked so hard (blood, sweat, and tears) to win wouldn't understand why this sole distinction is important.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. renee

    i see some of u are dumb as hell, she had the highest gpa, thats it nothing else matters, how can u co chair with a person with a lower gpa, she doesnt deserve it, she should have got her grades up, u guys are cowards hiding behind a computer hating people, i bet face to face u would not say half the stuff u say on here, i know that

    July 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • justsaying

      but she also had less credits and the policy states that it takes that into consideration.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laotzu12

      With your spelling and grammar, I'm not sure you're in a position to delcare anyone as "dumb as hell".

      July 26, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • OnlyAmerican

      Reading the article does help with understanding. Just FYI.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Really Renee?

      Highest GPA should win hands down? So a student that takes 4 years of math science and literature classes should be on the same playing field as a student that takes only two years of each and fills in the rest with art class electives? It's situations like this that make schools consider credits earned as opposed to classes just completed.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Liligi

      Renee is right.... especially about you all being dumb as hell. Did you just decide to forget how to read where the part that said "this was never done before in the past" came up? The only double valedictorians that had ever appeared at the school had a matching GPA, regardless of what classes they took. Reading comprehension people..... I see alot of you couldn't get into AP classes. : \

      July 27, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • StephenG

      @renee– agree!

      July 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christina Cook

      Um, Renee- She didn't load up on art classes and skate through school. She took the most rigorous courses offered, and the girl who had "more credits" didn't even have a full extra credit- she had a half credit. Considering most gym classes give people TWO whole credits, you might want to evaluate where this hostility is really coming from

      August 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gung hoe

    Sueing because poor thing wasnt sole valedictorian wow and i mean wow and its 75000 not 750000 but even with that she will sue over anything we better watch what is said about her in these blogs or she will be sueing one of us

    July 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      Imagine what the school district could do with that money. I guess 'ethics' was not one of the classes this girl took. If this were really about justice, just making her valedictorian (plus legal fees) should be enough.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I'm just hoping she ends up with some hefty legal fees and the judge makes the right decision and tells her to stop whining and accept her award as it is. That will teach her to cry about winning.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      Matt, apparently ethics is not taught in the school district at all because had they have been this would not be a story!!!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. Virginiaca Hastings

    Soooo..... nobody's gonna comment on the fact that her name is Kymberly Wimberly. Okay then. Let me be the first.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mmmmm

      Not ferst!

      July 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laurie

      I was just thinking that. And she brags about how great her parents are. Yeesh!

      July 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
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