A black candidate for valedictorian at an Atlanta high school refused the title even though a federal judge ordered the school to allow him to share the honor with a white student.
Johnathan Henderson, the black student, made his decision after the Newton County, Ga., school board could not agree on whether to name him or C. Thomas Allgood 3rd valedictorian. (See Education6Week, June 12, 1991.)
The racially charged incident began when Mr. Allgood, who had a slightly higher grade-point average, filed a lawsuit claiming his right to the title. The school board had questioned the accreditation of a private school that Mr. Allgood attended for the first two years of high school.
Mr. Henderson, who was selected in March to speak before the graduating class by the senior graduation committee, gave a speech to the class, but refused the title of valedictorian.