Leave a comment

A Mississippi mother is taking legal action against her daughter’s school district after her child was forced to share her high school’s valedictorian title with a White student who earned a lower GPA, reports the New York Daily News.

According to the outlet, 18-year-old Jasmine Shepherd, who is the first Black student in Cleveland High School’s history to be given the valedictorian honor, was named “co-valedictorian” with a White student.

Her mother, Sherry Shepherd, filed a lawsuit in federal court in the Northern District of Mississippi on Tuesday over the matter, writes the source.

“Prior to 2016, all of Cleveland High School’s valedictorians were White,” read the lawsuit. “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.”

Shepherd’s mother said her daughter was forced to deliver her valedictorian speech after the White student during the graduation ceremony, reports the outlet.

A lawyer for the Cleveland School District says that the two students had the same exact GPA, though others involved have said her GPA was lower than the Black student’s GPA.

According to the Washington Post, Shepherd is suing the school district for monetary damages and is asking that her daughter be named the “sole valedictorian.”

“There is no inclusion in the Cleveland school district. When the district wants something, they just take it,” said Shepherd, according to the outlet.

This isn’t the first time that the Cleveland, Mississippi school district has been in the midst racial conflict. The Daily News reports that the school district was slapped with a lawsuit for its failure to desegregate its schools after being told to do so fifty years ago. The district initially tried to contest the judge’s order, but eventually ended up complying.

SOURCE: New York Daily News, Washington Post


Like on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Share your email below to receive our daily newsletter!



Mississippi High School’s First Black Valedictorian Forced To Share Title With White Student was originally published on

Also On Black America Web:
The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
10 photos

8 thoughts on “Mississippi High School’s First Black Valedictorian Forced To Share Title With White Student

  1. leadjustone on said:

    I hope her mom is successful with the lawsuit, but if not this young lady has already won the prettiest graduate award. She is adorable!

  2. Sarah on said:

    I do not blame the mother. I do not believe that chic GPA was not equal to the black girl. This is traceable. Old Wyllie Lynch is still at work.

  3. mrknowitall on said:

    The European American student should sue because she has to share valedictorian honor with a black student.

    • Say what! on said:

      Why? Tthe MAJORITY of the people involved say the BLACK GIRL is the one with the higher GPA. You seem to be one of those posters who want to degrade blacks. You are Peter or Dr. Larry in hiding.

  4. Diane on said:

    We are talking about Mississippi. The Deep South. I’m glad her mother is taking legal action, and I hope her daughter will be award the sole valedictorian. Yes whitey hate to see blks shine. Then u have the trolls that come on this website and desparage out blk youth. I wonder if there dumb ass will agree this child is being diminished bc of white privilege.

  5. The State of Mississippi is still Stuck on Stupid and Racist!!!!!

    I am glad that it was not my child who was the Valedictorian made to share her honor
    with some moron white student!!!!!

    Damn-can’t an African American ever have their time in the spotlight without some white person piggybacking on them?

    Ms. Shepherd DESERVED to be on that stage ALONE!!!!!!!!!
    She also should have delivered her SPEECH FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

&pubUrl=[PAGE_URL_ENCODED]&x=[WIDTH]&y=[HEIGHT]&vp_content=plembeddf3ixunshlvk&vp_template=3854" ]