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Virginia parents outraged at high school withholding merit awards in name of ‘equity’: ‘Sabotage’

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology called out for new woke rules

After a top-ranked Virginia high school withheld academic merit awards in the name of “equity,” parents are expressing their outrage at administrators’ response and the ultimate “sabotage” of students’ college and career futures.

“This was not a one-time error,” said father Harry Jackson on “Fox & Friends” Monday. 

“This is actually a systemic pattern of injustice that’s been occurring since 2017, where students have been withheld those honors from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, where they have not been notified.”

Jackson said more than 1,200 students and their families in Alexandria are impacted by the school’s decision to delay the notification of Commended Student awards given by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which recognizes top-performing high schoolers nationwide. He argued that the policy was motivated by trying to avoid “hurt feelings” of other students.

Additional Thomas Jefferson High parents, like Asra Nomani and original whistleblower Shawna Yashar, have also accused the school of late award distributions which came weeks after many colleges’ early application deadlines.

“This year the entire controversy just blew up because the kids got their certificate, weeks after early college application deadlines, just dropped on their desks as if it was just another piece of paper,” Nomani told “Fox & Friends First” co-host Todd Piro last week.

The school delayed academic awards for years, according to Nomani, because of its ploy to advocate for the “equal outcomes for every student, without exception.”

The school has even implemented a policy awarding students a 50% just for showing up to class, and administrators have eliminated zeroes entirely. 

Jackson further called out administrators by claiming they not only withheld notifications, but also knew the students who were awarded and used those statistics in school demographics.

“At the same time, while this injustice was occurring, the principal, as well as the director of student services and the staff at Thomas Jefferson, have been using the data from the commended scholars as part of their brag sheet to boost their own professional credentials and awards within the society,” Jackson said.

Fairfax County Public Schools’ “new equity agenda” is not producing equal outcomes, Jackson further argued, and instead denies “prosperity” for the students who have earned and deserved the academic recognition.

“The top performing students are now being pulled down in the name of equity, where they’re being denied this opportunity for scholarships,” Jackson said. 

“They now have had to delay milestones in life, such as going on to grad school, buying a home, getting married. These other milestones are now put on hold because of the actions of these administrators that literally took active steps to sabotage their careers and future potential.”

Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears chimed in on the accusations via Twitter, calling them “reprehensible” and requesting a formal investigation.

“I have reached out to the Governor and Attorney General and asked for an investigation,” Sears tweeted. “Our children’s education is not a zero-sum game. We cannot punish success in order to have ‘equal outcomes at all costs.”

In a statement sent to FOX 5 D.C., Fairfax County Public Schools said: “FCPS understands the hard work and dedication of each and every student who competes for college acceptance and scholarship opportunities. Once the issue regarding the fall 2022 notifications was realized, counselors sent emails and made follow-up calls to each college where these students had applied and informed them of the National Merit Scholarship Commendations. We are continuing to look into this matter and will take any necessary steps to ensure consistency in appropriate and timely notification of National Merit recognitions going forward.”

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