Domestic and Economic Policy, Education and School Choice

Black Teen Not Allowed To Be Valedictorian


Kymberly Wimberley is a black teen mom who earned the highest GPA in her class in McGehee High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. But she wasn’t allowed to be valedictorian.

The school’s administrators were afraid of a “big mess” if was Kymberly was recognized as the top of her class, according to a lawsuit filed this month — so the school appointed a white student with a lower GPA to be “co-valedictorian.”

A member named Bee Lavender, once a teen mom herself who’s now a successful writer, thought the school’s treatment of Kymberly was “categorically unfair.” According to Bee, “Kymberly earned the right to be sole valedictorian of her school.” So she started a petition on to demand Kymberly’s school recognize her for having the highest GPA.

Add your name to the petition to tell the McGehee School District to recognize Kymberly as the sole valedictorian. If enough people speak out about this outrage, Kymberly can get the recognition she deserves.

Teen parents are routinely discriminated against and face significant institutional barriers to education. While teen mothers are often expected to fail, Kymberly Wimberley defied both the odds and the stereotypes.

She went back to school a few short weeks after having a child, and worked hard to achieve high grades in advanced placement classes. Without faltering or failing, she achieved higher scores than any of her classmates.

Unfortunately, Kymberly’s case is not an isolated incident. She alleges the school had a pattern of academic discrimination against other black students, including discouraging them from taking advanced courses. She just filed a lawsuit against her school asking for recognition, and your voice can help push the school to do the right thing for Kymberly.

McGehee High School can set the record straight. Please sign the petition demanding the school recognize Kymberly as the sole valedictorian of her class.


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