McGEHEE A recent graduate of McGehee High School says racial bias was behind a decision to demote her to “co-valedictorian” last May. The district says a second girl deserved to be recognized, too, because of her academic achievements.
Kimberly Wimberly sued the McGehee School District last week, seeking at least $75,000 and a declaration that she is the school’s lone valedictorian. She says the district added a co-valedictorian so a black student wouldn’t take top honors in a district where black students make up less than half the enrollment.
Superintendent Thomas Gathen told KLRT-TV in Little Rock the second girl took more classes and that a school rule prevents extra course work from penalizing students when calculating grade point averages.
Wimberly plans to attend the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.