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School board needs to disclose reasons for valedictorian pick

POSTED: February 9, 2012 1:00 a.m.

This comment is in relation to the recent controversy surrounding Gainesville High School's selection of co-valedictorians for the May 2012 graduation. Historically valedictorians have been chosen based on highest GPAs. When deviations to this norm are taken, people pay attention and ask "why?"

Following broadcasts of this story on local news programs, Georgians are now paying attention and asking "why?" We are watching the city of Gainesville, its school board and Gainesville High in hopes for corrective measures that ensure Cody Stephens is the sole valedictorian as he so deserves. And if that is not the chosen route, and Mr. Stephens is required to unjustly share this once in a lifetime honor, then be honest and transparent in that decision.

If this is about race, and Gainesville High, the school board, and the city fear community reaction to the first ever African-American valedictorian in Gainesville, then let's talk about that, let's address those fears, let's determine if they are warranted. And if not (because I presume they are not), then let's work to overcome them. Let's be adult about this and start acting more like, well, valedictorians - holding ourselves to the highest standards possible.

It's 2012, and we are better than this. Gainesville, we are watching you.

Kari Mackey
Atlanta



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