A black high school graduate has sued her school after she alleged that she was forced to share valedictorian status with a white student whose grades she claimed were lower than hers.
The 2016 graduate of Cleveland High School in Mississippi Jasmine Shephard sued her school district last week arguing that she was discriminated against on the basis of her race. Based from the lawsuit, Shaphard is demanding an unknown amount of money from the school, and she also wants them to declare her as the only valedictorian.
The school has denied the allegation and has described the lawsuit as “frivolous”. The school insists that the two students had the same grades, and as such, logically has to share the valedictorian status.
Jamie Jacks, the lawyer for the school district said: “The district’s policy is racially neutral and fair to students.”
The student’s mother, Sherry, also complained that her daughter was supposedly made to walk behind the white student and make a speech after the white student. The mother and daughter tandem also launched a Facebook campaign with a page titled “Justice for Jasmine”, detailing their alleged struggle against the school. She also drew comparisons with their fight against the school to a classic David vs. Goliath battle, where she projects her daughter as the underdog and the school as the giant they want to slay in spite of its dominance.
Comments to the Heatstreet article mostly expressed cynicism, though, about the lawsuit, pointing the fact that the defendant was asking for money.