A new report today courtesy of Bacon’s Rebellion explains how officials at Virginia’s largest school system felt about imposing race-based admissions at the nation’s best high school.
Disclosed text messages between Fairfax school board members Abrar Omeish and Stella Pekarsky show the pair admitting that the controversial admission changes to make Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology more diverse discriminated against Asian students.
At one point, Omeish sent Pekarsk the following message: “I mean there has been an anti asian feel underlying some of this, hate to say it lol.”
Pekarsk responded with, “They’re discriminated against in this process too.”
Bacon’s Rebellion Asra Q. Nomani further reports:
The messages are part of months of emails and texts made public in a federal lawsuit by Coalition for TJ, a grassroots parent group, against the Fairfax County School Board, alleging anti-Asian racism in the new admissions policy to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, ranked America’s No. 1 high school by U.S. News and World Report. Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the Coalition for TJ, and has carried the mantle courageously for parents in New York City, waging a similar battle to protect merit-based education. Our Coalition for TJ parents are inspiring folks with names like Suparna, Hemang, Glenn, Helen, Harry and Yuyan — all with complicated stories of overcoming adversity in their lives.
Wall Street Journal columnist Bill McGurn has chronicled the politics in a blistering op-ed, headlined, “An Ugly Game of Race References: ‘I mean there has been an anti asian feel underlying some of this, hate to say it lol.’”
McGurn drew parallels to the case of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, which alleges anti-Asian admissions discrimination by the Ivy League school. The Supreme Court is considering whether to hear an appeal in that case. “We’re now seeing a great divvying up by race, from federal farm aid and Covid treatments to college admissions,” McGurn wrote. “And the practice is on the rise despite polls showing that Americans—across all racial groups—oppose race preferences. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week that he will rescind a directive banning state agencies from considering race or sex when hiring, even though his state’s voters in 2019 defeated a referendum aimed at restoring race preferences.”
McGurn concluded: “The question for the courts in both Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board and Students for Fair Admission v. Harvard is whether this is really the way the authors of the Constitution intended us to live.”
In Virginia, a federal judge in Alexandria will rule on the discrimination controversy that engulfed Thomas Jefferson High School one week from today.