Glenn Youngkin Asks Virginia AG To Investigate Prestigious School That Reportedly Withheld Merit Awards From Students

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin called on Attorney General Jason Miyares Tuesday to investigate a prestigious high school after a report showed that the school withheld merit awards from its students, according to a Youngkin press release.

Asra Nomani, a parental rights in education activist, reported that administrators at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) had been failing to notify students, mostly Asian, that they had received the National Merit Scholarship commendation, an honor used for college applications and to obtain scholarships, in order to not “hurt” the feelings of students who did not earn the award. Youngkin asked Miyares to open an investigation into the high school as parents called for the administration to be fired. (RELATED: REPORT: School District Paid $455,000 For ‘Equity’ Program While School Hid Merit Awards From Students)

“We need to get to the bottom of what appears to be an egregious, deliberate attempt to disadvantage high-performing students at one of the best schools in the country,” Youngkin said in a press release. “Parents and students deserve answers and Attorney General Miyares will initiate a full investigation. I believe this failure may have caused material harm to those students and their parents, and that this failure may have violated the Virginia Human Rights Act.”

A coalition of parents met with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Michelle Reid on Dec. 30 to push for the resignation of the TJHSST principal and the director of student services. The TJHSST parents protested the handling of the awards and “the damages their children suffered because of the administration’s reckless indifference” on Tuesday.

The TJHSST parents are also demanding that the affected students and their respective colleges be notified of the withholding of the award. Each year, 7,250 students are named finalists out of the 1.5 million students who apply for the National Merit award.

“The Attorney General has received the letter and has been carefully reviewing and evaluating the allegations of racial discrimination at Thomas Jefferson School of Science and Technology since the very first public reports,” Victoria LaCivita, Miyares’ spokeswoman, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Youngkin’s office and FCPS did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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