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Woodrow Wilson grad suing Dallas ISD over class ranking

Jackson Hansen expected to be salutatorian of the class of 2019 but his rank dropped unexpectedly before graduation.

A Woodrow Wilson High School graduate filed a lawsuit this week against the Dallas Independent School District asking for a public declaration that he was the salutatorian of his graduating class. 

Jackson Hansen is not seeking money in the lawsuit filed Monday in Dallas County. Instead, he is asking the school district put in writing that he was ranked second in the Woodrow Wilson class of 2019. 

The suit alleges Hansen, who attended DISD schools since kindergarten, was originally ranked first in his graduating class but dropped to second after the first semester of his senior year. He says he was dropped from second to sixth hours before graduation. 

“The school proceeded with the graduation ceremony using the erroneous, new rankings,” the lawsuit says. 

RELATED: Woodrow Wilson High School seniors see class ranking mix-up days before graduation, DISD admits fault

Some students received double credits for certain courses, a policy change that went into effect before the school year began. But many of the graduating students had taken those courses before the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. 

“Some people sat in the same classes and did the same work but got more credit for it,” Kendyl Loper told WFAA in June. 

A school counselor told Hansen’s mother there “was an error in the new rankings.” The principal also told the family there was a change in the ranking procedure but said “the change was not significant,” the lawsuit says. 

The suit says that though district leaders said the class rankings were incorrect, Hansen is still not acknowledged to be the salutatorian of the Woodrow Wilson class of 2019. 

Hansen is asking that the court “declare in a written order made available to the class, any future potential employer, university or other person making a legitimate inquiry” that he was ranked second in his graduating class. 

Parents told WFAA after the lawsuit was filed that students were eventually allowed to choose the transcript that reflected their best GPA after the mixup was brought to light. 

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