PECOS, TX – A graduation ceremony ended in a court battle after two students claimed they both earned the top spot as valedictorian.
According to CBS7, the dispute began when administrators at Pecos High School announced the valedictorian after allegedly telling a different student she had earned the top stop earlier in the month.
According to Blanca Gallego and her family about a month ago they were told Blanca would be #1 in the class and the most recent transcripts showed her in the top spot.
Then earlier this week the school announced Zachariah Hung was valedictorian and Blanca was number two. When the Gallegos inquired about the change, the school told them the change was a result of a glitch, but that officials wouldn’t elaborate.
With graduation days away, the Gallegos filed a restraining order and injunction on naming a valedictorian.
“For me to grow up here and work as hard as I have,” Blanca Gallego said, “And have them do this to me last moment. I can’t even enjoy the fact that I’m graduating.”
In court, the district stated both students would be referred to as the “highest-ranking scholars” during graduation. The announcement satisfied the presiding judge, Mike Swanson and he chose to take no further action. The incident will be further investigated by the district and the TEA.
“From the start, this shouldn’t have happened,” Gallego said. “Everything should have been cleared out, so that’s just problems with school administration. Whoever has the blame, no one knows for sure. But this shouldn’t have been a problem, and it’s sad to see that this is where it’s gotten today.”
The second student is involved in is the son of Reeves County Judge Leo Hung. He declined to comment on the situation, but stated: “it was disappointing that the students would have to share the honor, and that the truth will eventually be revealed.”
Interim Superintendent Earl Jarrett released an apology on Monday regarding the incident but declined to comment on the hearing.