A straight-A student got a C in cooking class and didn't like it. She didn't like it so much that her dad filed a complaint in federal court about it. He alleges that the teacher, who is white, discriminated against his daughter, who is black. He seeks to have her grade changed from a C to an A and asks for unspecified financial damages.
Virginia Brown is in the ninth grade at Ashley High School. Since her first year in school, she has had perfect attendance and all her grades have been A's. Virginia's father said her heart was broken when she got the C.
"She cried the whole weekend," he said. "She wouldn't come out of her room. Her eyes were red and puffy. My little girl hasn’t been this upset since her cat got run over by a car when she was 6 years old."
Virginia is a model student. She's the class president. She's on the swim team, the volleyball team, and the track team. She belongs to the chess club. She is a member of the Girl Scouts and sings in her church choir.
The home economics teacher is 28-year-old Jessica Smith. This is her first year teaching. Ms. Smith said that discrimination was absolutely not the issue. “Some of my best friends are African-Americans," she said. “This isn’t a black and white problem. Everybody in America wants to sue everybody else. I’m going to sue them for defamation of character and whatever else my lawyer comes up with.” The school principal, who grew up in India, said that he supported Ms. Smith 100 percent. He said that Virginia is an excellent student who would have no problem getting into the best universities even with a C in cooking. “She won’t have any difficulty finding a great university, but she might have problems finding a husband,” he laughed. “She’d better look for a man who likes to eat out a lot.”