Haley Taylor Schlitz, 19, To Become Youngest Black Law School Graduate In America
May 3, 2022
When Haley Taylor Schlitz was in fifth grade, her usually high grades began to dip. Her mother, Dr. Myiesha Taylor, knew she was a star student and her “I don’t care,” response to her nosediving reports wasn’t cutting it. So Dr. Taylor went to the school’s administration to get to the bottom of the issue.
She had a hunch her daughter was bored and needed advanced courses. She was met with opposition from both a teacher and the school’s principal.
“She started with the teacher and asked if I could be tested for the gifted talent program. The teacher denied, saying how I did on the pre-STAAR test and TAKS test [Texas’ standardized tests]. I didn’t do well,” Taylor Schlitz says. The girl’s mother was also told she may need to be held back. The principal then added she couldn’t be tested for the gifted program because testing was only for kindergartners. “Of course, that’s not true,” Taylor Schiltz remarks.
Racism seemed to be an underlying cause and this wasn’t the first time she had faced it. Once, the Texas school produced a play called “Northern Aggression” and had her portray a mixed race slave. In another instance, during a lesson on slavery, a white student turned to Taylor Schlitz and said, “You know, if we lived back in that time, I would own you.”
Fed up with the public school system, Dr. Taylor decided to homeschool her daughter and within two years, Taylor Schlitz had graduated from high school. This year, she’s making history as the youngest Black woman to graduate from law school in America. She is set to earn her Juris Doctor degree from SMU Dedman School of Law.