Many, including Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, are claiming that this was done for the purpose to hold back White and Asian students, and preserving the feelings of students in different ethnic groups. In an attempt of trying to preserve the feelings of students, Thomas Jefferson High School was penalizing these White and Asian students by not informing them of their awards, something, not until multiple years later.
Asra Nomani is a mother in Fairfax County, Va., and the journalist who broke the story, she sat down with Fox News last week, telling them:
“As an immigrant single mother and minority sole head of household, I’m working three jobs to pay out-of-state tuition for him with federal Pell Grant assistance for lower-income families and zero merit money. How is that the social justice that equity warriors claim they are striving to achieve?”
“We’re now finding out that many other schools have withheld this critical accolade from parents and students,” she said. “Withholding the National Merit awards from children is immoral, unethical and downright cruel, if not illegal. It’s emblematic of a war on merit that has become a war on kids.”
Now, we learn that roughly 14 other schools are involved in a similar situation of withholding information of awards from students.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin spoke about the situation now alleged to be involving multiple high schools throughout Virginia, telling WJLA:
“All of a sudden, we see it spreading around to the rest of Fairfax County,”
“They have a maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all costs. … The reality is we have a superintendent in Fairfax schools who has explicitly stated that her top objective is equal outcomes for all students regardless of the price.”
Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Michelle C. Reid implied at a town hall meeting that other states are potentially treating National Merit scholars the same way as Virginia, however, Virginia was just the first to get caught.
A D.C.-area high school already sued for an admissions scheme to lock out Asians is now accused of not informing students they had been given national academic honors, so as to not make other students feel bad – and some parents may file legal action.
“For years, two administrators at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) have been withholding notifications of National Merit awards from the school’s families, most of them Asian, thus denying students the right to use those awards to boost their college admission prospects and earn scholarships,” the New York Post reveals.
“Recognition by National Merit opens the door to millions of dollars in college scholarships and 800 Special Scholarships from corporate sponsors,” the Post reports.
The school was notified of the honors, but chose to never inform students as part of a new scheme by liberal administrators to ensure all students achieved “equal outcomes,” regardless of ability or efforts.
Outraged parents only found out their kids had been honored after submitting college and scholarship applications, potentially depriving students of university admissions and thousands of dollars in scholarship funds.
Over a span of five years, as many as 1,200 students were never informed they were National Merit scholars by principal Ann Bonitatibus, and the director of student services, Brandon Kosatka.
The school defended the cover-ups in the name of “woke” policies.
“We want to recognize students for who they are as individuals, not focus on their achievements,” says TJ’s director of student services, Brandon Kosatka.
The Post reports:
This episode has emerged amid the school district’s new strategy of “equal outcomes for every student, without exception.” School administrators, for instance, have implemented an “equitable grading” policy that eliminates zeros, gives students a grade of 50 percent just for showing up, and assigns a cryptic code of “NTI” for assignments not turned in. It’s a race to the bottom.
The scheme could lead to legal action.
“Keeping these certificates from students is theft by the state,” says Thomas Jefferson parent Shawna Yashar, a lawyer who discovered the cover-up when her own son was denied honors. “What’s more, it could be a civil rights violation, says local parent advocate Debra Tisler, with most TJ students in a protected class of ‘gifted’ students, most of them racial minorities, man with disabilities, and most coming from immigrant families whose parents speak English as a second language,” the Post reports.
The liberal-run school is already the subject of a federal lawsuit into racist admissions policies designed to keep out Asians.
“A group representing Asian-American parents…sued a Virginia school district over a new admissions plan designed to boost racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a highly selective magnet program that is considered one of the top academic high schools in the nation,” Education Week reported in March 2021.
“Plaintiff’s data analysts project that Asian-American student enrollment at TJ will drop from 73 percent under the merit-based race-blind admissions system to 31 percent under the new racial-balancing admissions system for the Class of 2025,” the lawsuit alleges. “No other racial group is projected to lose seats. The greatest beneficiary of the new admissions system in terms of increased population will be white students.”