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Author Topic: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!  (Read 2316 times)

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Offline Ann

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Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« on: July 29, 2011, 10:53:30 AM »
Excerpts from the article...

Wimberley was a straight-A student who, after getting pregnant her junior year of high school, took only three weeks off of school before returning to continue her education. By the end of her senior year, she had the highest GPA in her class, but she's alleging in a lawsuit that school administrators made her share the honor with a white student because awarding the honor to an African-American teenage mother would have been a "big mess."

She also argues that black students in her district are systematically discriminated against, and warned against taking AP or other honors classes because the courseload will be "too hard."

"Teen parents are routinely discriminated against and face significant institutional barriers to education," the petition reads. "Teen mothers are expected to fail, but Kymberly Wimberley defied both the odds and the stereotypes. She went back to school a few short weeks after having a child, and worked endlessly hard to achieve high grades in advanced placement classes - courses often considered too difficult for even bright students. Kymberly is a committed scholar and she excelled beyond her peers. Without faltering or failing, she achieved high scores. She did not just graduate: she graduated with honours. Kymberly is an exceptional, talented young woman and the fact that she is a black teenage mother does not detract from her accomplishments.

Kymberly Wimberley earned the right to be sole valedictorian of her school."

Wimberley and her lawyer are fighting a battle through the courts -- stand with them, and Lavender, by signing the petition today. Each petition signature will be sent to the district superintendent.


Sign the petition at Change.org
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

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HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Joe K

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 11:52:00 AM »
Wimberley was a straight-A student who, after getting pregnant her junior year of high school, took only three weeks off of school before returning to continue her education. By the end of her senior year, she had the highest GPA in her class, but she's alleging in a lawsuit that school administrators made her share the honor with a white student because awarding the honor to an African-American teenage mother would have been a "big mess."

I'm almost speechless at this atrocity.  This isn't about her being a teenage mother, it's because she is black.  What relevance is her skin color, to the fact that she is a teenage mother?  None whatsoever.  This is racism of the lowest order and anyone who tries to paint it as anything else, is a blatant liar.  The valedictorian is the student with the HIGHEST GPA, end of discussion.  I don't recall ever seeing a reference to ones skin color as part of describing a valedictorian.  It's inclusion here says volumes.  Seeing that this is in Arkansas, it does not surprise me.  Far too many white folks have real problems with people of color.  Fucking get over it already.

Offline Ann

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 11:58:41 AM »
I agree, Joe. The fact that she overcame such a huge hurdle at such a young age should be celebrated. She should be held up as a role-model - not for becoming pregnant so young, but for not letting pregnancy and motherhood to get in the way of her education. She sounds like a lovely, determined young woman and if she were my daughter, I'd be very proud of her. Hell, I'm proud of her anyway.

Her skin colour has nothing to do with her achievements. While I agree that the main problem here is racism, I do believe her pregnancy and motherhood have a lot to do with the school's actions too.

Like you said, Joe, Far too many white folks have real problems with people of color.  Fucking get over it already.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 12:00:55 PM by Ann »
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Joe K

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 12:12:42 PM »
I agree, Joe. The fact that she overcame such a huge hurdle at such a young age should be celebrated. She should be held up as a role-model - not for becoming pregnant so young, but for not letting pregnancy and motherhood to get in the way of her education. She sounds like a lovely, determined young woman and if she were my daughter, I'd be very proud of her. Hell, I'm proud of her anyway.

Her skin colour has nothing to do with her achievements. While I agree that the main problem here is racism, I do believe her pregnancy and motherhood have a lot to do with the school's actions too.

Like you said, Joe, Far too many white folks have real problems with people of color.  Fucking get over it already.

I'm serious that the real issue here is her skin color.  Bristol Palin was a teenage mother, but she is white. Nobody ever referred to her as a "white teenage mother" and any crap about her pregnancy was simply ignored, because it's OK for white girls to make mistakes.  Not so with African-American girls, the simple fact that she is black is what is driving this "lynching".  The fact that she is also a teenage mother, just adds fuel to the stereotypes and to some people, justification for their hatred of non-white people.

The whole premise is that white teenage girls make mistakes when they get pregnant and as such, they are worthy of our compassion and support.  Non-white teenage girls who get pregnant, are often seen as almost sub-human FOR DOING EXACTLY WHAT THE WHITE TEENAGE GIRL DID.  The only real difference is the color of skin and that is why I say this is purely racist.  All the rest is just a smoke screen, to send an unsaid message to parents that "We're sorry this black girl was the smartest one in the class and we are doing our best to diminish her in the eyes of everyone, because we all know this was just a rare fluke."

This is how millions of white Americans think and they see nothing wrong with their actions.

Fucking disgusting. 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 12:23:07 PM by killfoile »

Offline Ann

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 01:54:33 PM »
Joe, we do agree that this is first and foremost a racist issue. However, I don't think the school would have even attempted to do this if she hadn't also been a teenage mother. They are using the motherhood issue to hide their racism. We're in agreement, but just voicing it slightly differently.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 02:00:49 PM »
I'd actually like to see more information about this.  I was denied an award in school for the highest standardized testing score, because of my GPA being lower than someone else's.  Essentially another girl had tied my ACT score and then later I took it again and scored higher.  They claimed that there was a deadline and so they would use the previous score and use the GPA as a tie breaker.  My point is that these things are not always as straight forward as they seem.  Was her entire courseload Advanced Placement classes (which bear a higher GPA weight) or just some of them?  If it truly was a tie, then the other girl deserves the same recognition.  This sounds like someone jumping the gun and playing the race card, but if she did have the absolute higher GPA then yeah knock that other girl off the platform and give her the recognition.

Offline wolfter

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 02:02:17 PM »
A long time friend of mine in on the Lakewood school board and I sent him an email earlier asking for this thoughts.  I'll defer judgment until all the facts are presented.  At this point, it's all allegations.

Here is a portion of his response;

Obviously I canít address the school board specifics in the Arkansas case.  Lakewood uses several criterions for determining the class valedictorian and has had dual valedictorians on several occasions.

It is reasonably assumptive that a lower GPA could result in that person being chosen as valedictorian.  Different weights are applied to different courses based on their difficulty.  A student who achieves a GPA of 3.75 while taking all advanced/college prep classes would out perform a student who achieves 4.00 GPA that only took basic/minimum requirement courses

Not saying it didn't happen, but it's hard to believe a blantantly racist action could happen this day and age.
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Offline Jeff G

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011, 02:08:29 PM »
Not saying it didn't happen, but it's hard to believe a blantantly racist action could happen this day and age.

Its not hard for me to believe at all sadly enough .

Offline Joe K

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011, 02:08:54 PM »
Not saying it didn't happen, but it's hard to believe a blantantly racist action could happen this day and age.

Really?  Then how do you describe the cartoons depicting President Obama as a simian?

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2011, 02:12:25 PM »
Really?  Then how do you describe the cartoons depicting President Obama as a simian?

This is a strawman.  The deal here is that their GPA's can be calculated.  So if one is larger than the other then there is your clear winner.  They have rules written down to determine who makes valedictorian and salutatorian (btw if this girl who is tied wasn't valedictorian then she would obviously be salutatorian which is still quite impressive).  I'm just wondering what makes anyone think that race is to blame for this?  Assuming that you were mistreated because of the skin color of other people is ALSO racism.

Offline wolfter

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2011, 02:16:43 PM »
Really?  Then how do you describe the cartoons depicting President Obama as a simian?

I was commenting in terms of blatant civil rights violations.  Racism does exist, but not every situation is a racist action.
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Offline Joe K

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2011, 02:21:38 PM »
This is a strawman.  The deal here is that their GPA's can be calculated.  So if one is larger than the other then there is your clear winner.  They have rules written down to determine who makes valedictorian and salutatorian (btw if this girl who is tied wasn't valedictorian then she would obviously be salutatorian which is still quite impressive).  I'm just wondering what makes anyone think that race is to blame for this?  Assuming that you were mistreated because of the skin color of other people is ALSO racism.

My issue is not with whether she is the "real" valedictorian, it centers on the use of African-American in describing who she is.  Honestly, have you ever seen skin color referenced if it involves whites.  It's inclusion here suggests that there is something inherently different about this girl, because of her skin color.  Otherwise, why mention it at all?

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2011, 02:34:42 PM »
My issue is not with whether she is the "real" valedictorian, it centers on the use of African-American in describing who she is.  Honestly, have you ever seen skin color referenced if it involves whites.  It's inclusion here suggests that there is something inherently different about this girl, because of her skin color.  Otherwise, why mention it at all?

She's the one who brought it up in her allegation.

Offline poz91

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2011, 01:03:26 PM »
"Wimberley" is a typo in this one particular article that's circulating around the web. Her last name is spelled "Wimberly" and there's a lot more information about the case available if you Google it...

Her mother works for the school as the school's media specialist.

Being absent more than 9 days in a school year is grounds for failing and/or having to repeat a grade... she missed three weeks of school.

To qualify for valedictorian or salutorian status, the student has to be "continuously enrolled" not just have the highest GPA... again, she was out for three weeks.

Now, put yourself in the other co-valedictorian's shoes having to share the honor with someone who technically shouldn't even be graduating in the first place, doesn't qualify for the honor, and has likely received special treatment because of her mother being employed with the school.

Frankly, having a parent work at the school should automatically disqualify a student from being valedictorian or salutorian anyway because there is simply too much of a possibility that the teachers have been more lenient in grading that student because of their personal/professional realtionship with the parent.

Offline Cliff

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2011, 04:12:25 AM »
Technicalities aside, having a child in school and maintaining great grades (whether tops or near tops of class) is to be commended.  Hopefully she can put this (and the fact that she had a child prior to graduating high school) in their place and go on to a great university and fantastic career.

Offline Ann

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2011, 11:40:28 AM »

Being absent more than 9 days in a school year is grounds for failing and/or having to repeat a grade... she missed three weeks of school.


I would imagine that only applies to absences not accompanied by an official doctor's letter or note. In other words, unexcused absences. They can't fail a kid because they were out with mono for a few weeks, for example, or any other medically excused absence. I know that's how it worked at my high school, only you were allowed only five unexcused days off.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline poz91

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2011, 01:05:30 PM »
I would imagine that only applies to absences not accompanied by an official doctor's letter or note. In other words, unexcused absences. They can't fail a kid because they were out with mono for a few weeks, for example, or any other medically excused absence. I know that's how it worked at my high school, only you were allowed only five unexcused days off.

Schools can and do make students repeat a grade if they were out for X number of days regardless of the reason (several students in my graduating class were held back because of legitimate health related absences), but you're right that they can also make exceptions.

And they made an exception for this student and allowed her to pass/graduate even though she went significantly over the allowable number of days absent, which is fine, but should that also mean that the school should strip the honor of valedictorian away from another student who legitimately met the requirements for graduation?

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2011, 09:44:42 AM »
I'm just wondering what makes anyone think that race is to blame for this?

LAWL... of course you would be the one to say this  ::).
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Despicable discrimination - please sign the petition!
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2011, 01:38:29 PM »
LAWL... of course you would be the one to say this  ::).

I know, damn me and my disinterest in leaping to conclusions.

 


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