A Maywood, Illinois high school student has the best grade point average at Proviso East High School. Yet, he was denied the title of valedictorian.
Ladarius Sapho fought school administrators over a policy that some said doesn’t seem to exist.
His weighted grade point average is 4.135, which is better than an “A” because of all the honors classes he took. “I was gonna be number one, valedictorian of 2014. I was going to be giving the speech at graduation,” said Sapho.
However, last week, both Sapho and the school’s number two student, the salutatorian, got called to the office for some bad news.
Principal Tony Valente told them they didn’t qualify for the honors, because both students started at the school as sophomores after moving into the district. Policy requires they must have attended for at least seven semesters to get the titles.
“You’re gonna tell me just two weeks before graduation? I had a speech ready, I was ready to give this speech, practicing and he tells me I can’t be number one,” added Sapho.
Antoinette Gray, a community advocate, had been working with Sapho to get the titled he earned. She says that no such policy exist. “They have been asked not once, but two or three times to produce that written policy. And the reason that was given by Tony Valente, the school principal, was that it was his discretion to make that decision.” Gray told WFLD.
A district spokesman told WFLD the policy is on the district’s website, but the news outlet could not find it either.
But as a result of Sapho’s protest, he will be appointed valedictorian after all. Well co-valedictorian. He also declined to make a speech. Sapho will share the spot with Jennifer Ramirez, who has a GPA of 4.079.
Graduation is scheduled to take place on Saturday. Sapho has accepted a full ride scholarship to a college in Hawaii, where he plans to study to become a neurosurgeon.
Thoughts on the board’s decision and their “policy”?
Was Sapho cheated?
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