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Her High School Said She Ranked Third in Her Class. So She Went to Court.

Her High School Said She Ranked Third in Her Class. So She Went to Court.
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Her High School Said She Ranked Third in Her Class. So She Went to Court.

Her High School Said She Ranked Third in Her Class. So She Went to Courtroom.

It’s not solely unheard-of for disputes over prime spots in highschool graduating lessons to escalate to litigation. The competitors over such accolades might be an intense, even ruthless, zero-sum sport. And in the combat to be valedictorian, there may be extra at stake than simply bragging rights. In Texas, the highest-ranking highschool graduates can obtain free tuition for his or her first 12 months at in-state public establishments.

Ms. Sullivan and her mother and father have been impressed by a case final 12 months in Pecos, Texas, about 100 miles from Alpine, the place two college students claimed to be valedictorian amid confusion over a “glitch” in the varsity’s tabulations. One of many college students — with skilled authorized illustration — filed for a restraining order and sought an injunction to block Pecos High School from naming its valedictorian.

After Ms. Sullivan couldn’t get a lawyer, her mother and father have been disenchanted however keen to drop the matter. However she refused. She received recommendation and information from the household in the case in Pecos, utilizing the petition in that case as a information to begin writing her personal. Her mother and father — her father, a rancher; her mom, a forensic interviewer — learn it over and helped her tidy up the language.

“We aren’t even shut to being attorneys,” Ms. Sullivan stated.

In Alpine, a city of roughly 6,000 individuals in Texas’s Huge Bend Nation, some who know Ms. Sullivan stated they have been shocked she would take this on. There are different methods to spend one’s final summer time earlier than faculty. (She plans to attend the Faculty of Charleston in South Carolina and main in biophysics with the goal of going into drugs.) However she had at all times been critical about faculty and a bit steely in her resolve.

“She’s already going to faculty, she already has scholarships,” stated Teresa Todd, a neighborhood authorities lawyer who’s a longtime pal of Ms. Sullivan’s mom and whose sons are shut in age to Ms. Sullivan. “She labored actually arduous for this, and I feel all children deserve to know the place they fall in the pecking order.”

“Youngsters have to present their work,” Ms. Todd added. “Why doesn’t the varsity have to present their work?”

She stated she provided some recommendation to Ms. Sullivan forward of her listening to: “Be herself. Be respectful. Don’t let the opposite aspect get you off your sport.”

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