EDUCATION: Grade-Point Showdown

Grade-Point Showdown

Choosing a valedictorian is usually a simple matter: the pupil with the top grades gets the honor. But for two rival students at Newton County High School in Covington, Ga., even a federal judge couldn't settle a dispute that has roiled the racially volatile school.

Originally the school board had selected Johnathan Henderson for the honor. Henderson, who is black, had a grade-point average of 96.96, winning awards in trigonometry, physics and Latin, plus scholarships totaling $42,500. But C. Thomas Allgood III sued. Allgood, who is white, claimed he should be the top graduate because his grade-point average was 97.7. Problem:...

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