Class Valedictorian Told After Graduation Her Rank Was A Mistake

A young high school student was very competitive for four years, saying she was always in the top two of her class. When she was told that she was being given the honor of valedictorian, she was elated. The 18-year-old gave her speech at graduation and her future seemed set, but after graduation was over, she was given some bad news. The district made a mistake, and now that mistake can affect the student's whole future.

When Destiny Brannon graduated in May, she was told by her school that she was first in her class. She gave the valedictory speech for DeSoto High School, and the teen looked forward to her first year of college. In Texas, valedictorians get a year of free tuition, and the financial assistance was going to be a big help for the young girl.

In June, however, Brannon's dreams were shattered when her school told her that she made a mistake. Out of 708 students, she didn't come in first; she came in third, they said. They apologized about the miscalculation, but it didn't help after they pulled the rug out from under the girl.

"I feel like they're trying to take something away from me that I worked hard on,” said Brannon. "It's embarrassing just having peers laugh because I know people talk."

Her mother, Samantha Brannon, was equally as shocked. “My heart dropped. I basically froze. Just total disbelief... I had so many questions, so many things running through my mind because I could not understand how this happened.”

Samantha is working with Destiny's school now to review her daughter's transcripts. Destiny was in the number one spot in January and in the beginning of June, but suddenly on the 12th, she dropped to third place. They are perplexed by the change.

Destiny suspects that the reason the school dropped her in the class line-up is because the administration didn't like her valedictory speech.

"This school year has been a troubling one for me and DeSoto ISD school system. We were challenged with sub-par teachers who weren't there to benefit the needs of DeSoto students,” Destiny said in her address. She beliefs she ruffled some feathers.

"In my heart, I feel like it was manipulated. I feel like people didn't like my speech,” the teen said.

According to a spokesperson for the Desoto ISD district, school officials made a mistake when they used fall standings in considering the valedictorian. She tells NBC-DFW that the person who made the mistake was held accountable, and the district has put a new process in place to prevent future mix-ups.

The spokesperson said the districts have offered the students involved an apology. Brannon's family says they haven't gotten an apology, or an explanation.

"We've been trying to sit down and figure out as parents how we're going to get her to the University of Texas because at this point we don't know,” said Destiny's father, Joe Brannon.

The family began to worry that of six children, the child with the best grades might not even get off to college this year. They didn't know how they're going to handle the unexpected expense. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, however, they won't have to worry. Destiny began a GoFundMe account, with a goal of raising $25,000. In six days, the fundraiser has raised nearly $40,000.

Source: NBCDFW
Photos: You Tube Screeshots

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