Sherry Shepherd, has filed a federal lawsuit against her daughter’s Mississippi school district. She claimed her daughter was discriminated against because her child was forced to share the school’s valedictorian title with a white classmate, even though the white student had a lower GPA.
The day before their graduation, Jasmine Shepherd and a white student were named “co-valedictorians” of Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Miss., according to the lawsuit that was filed, the Washington Post reports.
According to the lawsuit, Jasmine is the school’s first Black valedictorian. The suit says, “Prior to 2016, all of Cleveland High School’s valedictorians were white. As a result of the school official’s unprecedented action of making an African-American student share the valedictorian award with a white student, the defendants discriminated against Ms. Shepherd.”
The Cleveland School District’s attorney blasted the suit as “frivolous,” and said the students “had identical grade point averages.” Jasmine’s mother countered that it was easy to calculate her daughter’s classmate’s grade point average and see that it was lower.
Sherry Shepherd said, “These children have been attending school with each other since middle school. We know the schedule, we know what they take, and we have a good idea where the discrepancy lies.”
According to Shepherd, racial tensions run high in the school district.