Despite facing the challenges of teen motherhood, Kymberly Wimberly had the highest GPA in her graduating class at McGehee Secondary School in Arkansas. Yet shortly after being named her school’s 2011 valedictorian, administrators announced that she would share the title with a classmate…who happened to be white and with a lower class average. Claiming that this snub is the latest in a long history of bias against black students, Wimberly is taking the matter to court.
Wimberly told CNN that Black students were encouraged to stay in regular courses and play sports, while whites were pushed to take honors and advance placement classes. She was the only Black student in her AP lit course and one of two in AP calculus. She is asking for $75,000 in punitive damages and acknowledgement as the sole valedictorian in her class. Wimberly claims that her AP biology class, which was taught by a teacher who motivated students of all races to sign up, was the only advanced course to mirror the nearly half-black racial makeup of the school.
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