Children's Issues Education Politics

Virginia AG Announces Probe of Public Schools

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced Monday that his investigation of withholding merit awards will expand from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to all public schools in Fairfax County.

Miyares launched a civil rights probe on Wednesday due to concern that Thomas Jefferson High School engaged in discrimination by delaying informing students of their recognition for national merit-based awards until after important deadlines for college scholarships had passed. Fairfax County Public Schools recently adopted a new strategy that aims to provide “Equal outcomes for every student, without exceptions.”

Director of Student Services Brandon Kosatka allegedly told a parent when confronted about the issue that student leaders minimized the recognition to avoid hurting the feelings of students who failed to earn the honors.

“It has come to my attention through public reporting that at least three high schools within Fairfax County Public Schools (‘FCPS’) may have withheld National Merit recognition from students. This alleged behavior may constitute unlawful discrimination in violation of the Virginia Human Rights Act,” Miyares said in a letter to Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid. “My office will investigate whether any students’ rights were violated as a consequence of alleged withholding of National Merit recognition by high school administrators or FCPS.” Read more…

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