RANKINS v. STATE BD. OF ELEM. & SEC. EDUC.
637 So.2d 548 (1994)
Tarchia RANKINS, Chad Yancy, Sonovia Hicks, Sekari Williams, and Kawanda Beauchamp
LOUISIANA STATE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION.
No. 93 CA 1879.
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit.
March 17, 1994.
Ernest Johnson and Ronald Johnson, Baton Rouge, for plaintiffs-appellees Tarchia Rankins, et al.
Roy A. Mongrue, Jr. and Margo Fleet, Baton Rouge, for defendant-appellant Bd. of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Thomas A. Rayer, Denechaud and Denechaud, New Orleans, for La. Federation, Citizens for Educational Freedom, Amicus Curiae.
Before LOTTINGER, C.J., and CARTER, CRAIN, LeBLANC and WHIPPLE, JJ.
LOTTINGER, Chief Judge.
The subject of this litigation is Louisiana's graduation exit examination (GEE) which has been a requirement for obtaining a state high school diploma since 1989. The five plaintiffs in this case, all Louisiana public school students, failed to pass the GEE before the end of their senior year in high school. They have all accumulated the required 23 Carnegie units1 necessary for graduation but, because of their failure to pass the GEE, they have not received their respective diplomas. Plaintiffs filed this suit seeking the award of their high school diplomas and a declaration as to the invalidity of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's (BESE) GEE policy. Following a hearing, the trial judge issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting BESE
from withholding the plaintiffs' state high school diplomas despite their failure of the GEE. In his written reasons for judgment, the judge stated that the GEE has been unconstitutionally administered in violation of the equal protection clause of the United States and Louisiana Constitutions. From this judgment, BESE appeals.
The central issues raised by this appeal are:
(1) whether BESE has authority to establish the GEE as a graduation requirement; and
(2) whether the GEE is being administered in violation of the equal protection clause.BESE'S AUTHORITY