UPDATE: Chapel Hill valedictorian controversy

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

CHAPEL HILL, TX (KLTV) - Chapel Hill senior Jon'Kayla Brown has been the top ranked student in her class since she was a freshman, until last Tuesday, when at an awards banquet, Chapel Hill ISD announced another student had passed her. Because Jon'Kayla is an African American female, some are claiming racism and gender discrimination played a part in the switch.

Tuesday, the Brown family filed a grievance against the Chapel Hill Independent School District. Kay Dean, Jon'Kayla Brown's mother is scheduled to meet with Chapel Hill High School's principal this week. In an exclusive interview, Kay told us that back in March, the principal signed a letter of recommendation saying Jon'Kayla was first in her class. She says that's why she thinks something is not adding up.

"So, if they've sent these scholarships saying that she's number one," said Kay Dean, "I feel like they weren't being honest. So, if she wasn't number one, why say number one. Just say top ten."

Tuesday, Chapel Hill superintendent Joe Stubblefield told us the mother of the student now listed as valedictorian has agreed to allow Jon'Kayla's family to see her son's academic records at this week's meeting, but there is one condition. Superintendent Stubblefield says Kay Dean has to notify the district in advance of who will be accompanying her to the meeting, something that has not happened yet. If the issue is not resolved at this meeting, the grievance would then be heard by superintendent Stubblefield, and then possibly the school board.

Regardless of what happens in the next few days, the Browns say they won't take any steps to stop Chapel Hill's graduation this Friday. They say her classmates had nothing to do with this.

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