Lawsuit Claims Arkansas School Won’t Allow Black Valedictorian

A graduating Arkansas high school senior claims her school denied her valedictorian status because she is black, despite boasting the highest GPA in her class. According to the court document filed by her attorney, 18-year-old Kymberly Wimberly would have been the first black valedictorian of McGehee Secondary School since 1989. Forty-six percent of students in the school are black, according to the Huffington Post. Wimberly’s mother, Molly Bratton, said she heard school personnel say giving Wimberly valedictorian status would cause “a big mess.” Subsequently, McGehee’s principal Darrell Thompson told Bratton that he was naming a white “co-valedictorian.” The school board would not hear Bratton’s appeals. In an interview with the McGehee Dermott Times-News, District Superintendent Thomas Gathen said, “It’s not a race issue; it’s an academic issue.”

Update: Federal Civil Rights suit aimed at Alabama Sheriff who ran Scared Straight-like Program

The Anniston Star is reporting that a federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against a Calhoun County, Ala., Sheriff who is accused of running a program that put juveniles into close contact with hardened criminals in a manner that is similar to the “scared straight” programs.

The Star quotes experts as saying the way Sheriff Larry Amerson operated the program runs contrary to federal and state law. The suit was brought by the father of a juvenile identified as J.B. It alleges that at one point during a recent visit by J.B., a deputy and an inmate verbally and physically abused him, pushing him and hurling racial slurs at him. The suit says that Amerson later came to speak to the boy. The Star obtained a copy of a video of part of that conversation, showing Amerson  “grabbing and holding down a boy dressed in an orange-striped inmate jumpsuit. The boy, whom the suit identifies as J.B., is shackled and has his hands cuffed behind his back during the incident,” wrote The Star’s Cameron Steele.

Can You Sue a 4 year old? Yes, You Can.

The New York Supreme court has redefined the legal age of accountability. This comes from an October 1, 2010 ruling from Justice Paul Wooten who determined that it is possible for a 4 year old to be negligent. As a result, there is a negligence suit against a 4 year old child. The details are laid out in the New York Times,

Two years ago Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, both four at the time, were racing their bicycles on a sidewalk. The bicycles had training wheels. Juliet ran into an 87 year-old woman, resulting in a hip fracture that required surgery. Three weeks later, the woman died.