Black Student Forced To Share Valedictorian Title With White Student Who Had Lower GPA
For 110 years, Cleveland High School, located in Cleveland, MS has not seen an African-American valedictorian. This year, Jasmine Shepard had put an end to this tradition.
However, the school decided to give her and a white student the title of co-valedictorians due to their “identical” GPA’s.
Jasmine’s mother, I’m sure, analyzed the situation as many of you are right now (as you re-read the first paragraph to make sure you didn’t miss anything), and deemed this as an unfair decision. She then filed a federal lawsuit against the Mississippi School District. The lawsuit claimed that her daughter was forced to share her title of valedictorian with a white student with a lower GPA. “These children have been attending school with each other since middle school,” said Ms. Shepard. “We know the schedule, we know what they take, and we have a good idea where the discrepancy lies.” Shepard’s lawsuit states that Jasmine’s 14th Amendment was violated.
The school’s lawyer has a different point of view, calling the suit frivolous and saying both girls’ GPA’s are “identical”.
Before you side with the lawyer and believing these girls are Martin Luther King’s dream-come-true. Let’s dive into a little history surrounding Cleveland High School.
This case is just months after Cleveland High School settled a 52-year long lawsuit demanding that it desegregate its schools., there is no beef between Jasmine and Heather Bouse, the co-valedictorian, Jasmine still tells CNN about the school being stuck in a Jim Crow era.
Since the lawsuit has been filed, Jasmine has experienced a lot of cyber attacks via social media containing the use of the “n-word” and remarks including “Black Lives Don’t Mean S***!”
The question is: What do black lives mean to Cleveland High School?