This story is rather hard to believe. It seems that Grapevine High School, in northeast Tarrant County, has decided that its top-ranked student should not be named valedictorian this year. Instead, they have given the honor to the student with the second-highest grade average.
Anjali Datta (pictured above) finished high school with a grade-point average of 5.877. That was the highest average of the 471 graduating students. In fact, it is believed to be the highest average in the school's 103-year history. So why is she not the school's valedictorian?
It seems that she took some of the high school courses while she was in middle school, and because of this she was able to finish high school in three years. But the school has an arcane rule that says the valedictorian is the person with the highest average over "four years of high school".
In effect, she is being punished for finishing high school early -- even though she took the same courses and did all of her coursework in Grapevine. A counselor had recommended she graduate early, telling her the rule was meant to stop students from transferring in from less rigorous schools and grabbing the title.
The school said they've been discussing this for months with their attorneys, and decided to go with a literal interpretation of the rule. They didn't notify Datta of the decision until March. The decision not only denies Datta the title of valedictorian, but also the college scholarship that goes with it.
This just doesn't sound right to me, since all of her high school courses were completed while attending Grapevine schools. Sometimes rules get in the way of doing the right thing.