Student Sues School District, Claiming Her Race Kept Her From Being Sole Valedictorian

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Did an Arkansas school deny Kymberly Wimberly from serving as sole valedictorian because she is black?

Her rhyming name may sound a bit silly, but Wimberly, 18, is serious in her lawsuit against McGehee School District, its superintendent and the McGehee Secondary School principal, MSNBC reports.

Wimberly's suit claims she had to share the valedictorian title, despite the fact that she had the school's highest grade point average, according to the news site.

"Even though she had the highest Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) in her class, Defendants forced Wimberly to share the title of Valedictorian with a white student," the lawsuit states. "Defendants' actions were part of a pattern and practice of school administrators and personnel treating the African-American students less favorably than Caucasian students."

MSNBC reports Wimberly, who plans to attend Harding University in Searchy, Ark., this fall, received all A's and one B at McGehee.

According to Courthouse News Service, Wimberly's mother, Molly Bratton, who serves as the school's "certified media specialist," states in the lawsuit that she heard school personnel express "concern that Wimberly's status as valedictorian might cause a 'big mess.'"

Bratton, MSNBC reports, says she was not allowed to challenge the decision before the school board until after graduation.

According the the website, the suit seeks punitive damages and wants school records to show Wimberly as the only valedictorian.

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