Black High School Grad Sues School District For Denying Salutatorian Honor

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Olecia James (Facebook).

A Mississippi high school graduate claimed that Cleveland School District officials stole her chance to be salutatorian because they “feared white flight,” according to a federal lawsuit filed in April in US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.

Olecia James graduated from Cleveland Central, a newly integrated high school in the Mississippi Delta, in 2018. James, who is Black, claimed that school officials named a white student with lower grades salutatorian.

According to the lawsuit, James’ scores initially appeared higher than the white student’s grade. Two weeks before the new school’s first graduation in May 2018, school officials lowered James’ grade point average by reducing the “quality points” she earned in classes at her former school, NBC News reported.

James previously attended East Side High School, Cleveland School District’s “segregated high school” for predominantly Black students. East Side merged with Cleveland High School,…

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