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Two black students at West Point High School were initially named top of their class and later made to share the honors with white classmates. Can we catch a break please?

Happy graduate girl

Source: Elisaveta Ivanova / Getty

In today’s news of let’s pick with the Black people, West Point High School is facing backlash for changing its class ranking system after it announced that it named two black female students as valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2021.

Ikeria Washington was awarded valedictorian and Layla Temple awarded salutatorian on May 24th, recognizing their academic achievements. However, on Thursday, the school wrote that it recognizes students with both the highest Quality Point Average (QPA) and Grade Point Average (GPA).

With that being said, Washington and Temple have the two highest QPAs but two other students (who are white) had the highest GPAs, resulting in four students being recognized by the school.

“The two students with the highest QPA are Ikeria Washington and Layla Temple. The students with the highest GPA are Dominic Borgioli and Emma Berry,” the school reportedly wrote in a Facebook post before deleting it. The WPCSD feels it necessary to recognize four seniors at graduation.”

So now ‘yall want to “play by the rules” and follow the handbook! Let’s be real, when’s the last time you read the handbook for your job? Better yet a high school handbook? Can’t even recall can you? Well some hater down in Mississippi didn’t like this news and questioned school officials about whether they were following guidelines in the school handbook in determining the top students.

Superintendent Burnell McDonald stated that the high school guidance counselor was new to the school and was given incorrect information about how to determine the designations. The counselor selected the two students based on quality point average (QPA), which is measured on a 4.0 scale, instead of a strict numerical average of the students’ semester grades over their high school career, which the district defines as its grade point average (GPA), he said.

The timing and changes of this situation just seem very suspect. If the academic achievements had been awarded to two white males or even two white females would the handbook issue have been brought up? Questions that need answers.

“We apologize for any confusion and problems this has caused. The school district takes full responsibility for this misunderstanding,” the school district said.

Many in the community and online chimed in and responded to the backlash. A Facebook Live recording of the ceremony cumulated almost 1,000 comments, many of which accused school officials, Berry, Borgioli and their families of cheating Layla and Ikeria out of their honors because of race.

Layla’s speech hinted at the controversy and let us just say sis said what she said.

“I’m so very grateful, honored and humbled to be the true class of 2021 salutatorian.”



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