Restraining order denied to parents who don't want son to share valedictorian spotlight

David Yates May 15, 2008, 6:45am

Angry parents who sued after they found out their son would have to share the valedictorian spotlight were denied their temporary restraining order by Jefferson County Judge Bob Wortham earlier this month.

Paris, Texas, residents Robyn and Robert Zimmerman filed suit on April 28 against Lamar University on behalf of their son Garrett Vick, who is a senior at Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities (TALH).

According to the Lamar Web site, Texas Academy is a highly selective, dual enrollment residential high school for gifted and talented students.

On April 10, 2008, Robyn Zimmerman received an e-mail from Mary Gagne, director of the Texas Academy, informing her that there will be four TALH valedictorians this year. Gagne explained that a tie existed and she was appealing to the state to name all four students.

"It is Plaintiffs' understanding that Garrett Vick and three other students have perfect 4.0 averages at Lamar University, but when previous high school careers are taken into consideration, Garrett Vick has the highest GPA," the suit said.

"Plaintiffs have protested to Defendant that an attempt to name more than one recipient was illegal. The Academy's administration in previous years has engaged in conduct that is inconsistent with Texas law by awarding three valedictorians � in the year of 2005/2006."

A hearing for the Zimmermans' restraining order was held on May 1. Shortly after, Judge Wortham denied the parents' request.

Garrett Vick entered the institution during his junior year. Prior to attending Texas Academy, Garrett was a student at Paris High School with a 5.780 GPA, the suit says.

In their suit, the Zimmermans argued they and their son would "suffer immediate and irreparable harm" if Vick was forced to share the award.

The family was represented by attorney Anthony Griffin.

Case No. E181-672

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