Sunday, September 25, 2022

School System Cheats Another Black Student Out of Valedictorian Honors: The Journal of Steffanie Rivers / WATCH

Layla Temple and Ikeria Washington (screenshot)
Layla Temple and Ikeria Washington (MSNBC screenshot)

*More than 66 years after Brown vs. the Board of Education mandated the desegregation of public schools, some Black students in Mississippi still are fighting Jim Crow era practices by school administrators. At least four families claimed their high school seniors have been cheated out of valedictorian and salutatorian honors. 

The latest incident happened at West Point High School where Layla Temple and Ikeria Washington were forced to share their respective Val and Sal status with two White students after their parents complained and bullied educators into a questionable grade point average recount.

Phantom classes and last minute GPA calculations have Jasmine Shepard and her mother, Dr. Sherry Shepard, reliving their own bad experiences from 2016. That’s when Shepard was a graduating senior at Cleveland (MS) High School where the Shepard’s say standard operating procedures were violated with impunity so a White student could share valedictorian honors.

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Dr. Shepard and her daughter spoke with me about their experience and why they decided to sue their school district. They have joined forces with the families in West Point to fight back. Click on the video above to find out what happened with their lawsuit and how it could help prove a pattern of racial discrimination for future cases.

Steffanie RiversSteffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at with your comments, questions and speaking inquiries. Follow her @TCBStef on Twitter and Instagram.





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