Governor Glenn Youngkin asked Attorney General Jason Miyares to investigate the administration at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) after allegations that officials downplayed student National Merit awards until after early selection college deadlines.
“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,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a Tuesday 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.”
In his letter, Youngkin said he was “stunned” by the news reports about the awards, said he believed that may have violated students’ and parents’ civil rights, and referred to Miyares’ grand jury investigation into Loudoun County Public Schools, which led to indictments of officials at that district.
TJHSST has been a focus of Republican concern since the school changed its admissions process, and Miyares has supported efforts to block that policy.
After Youngkin’s letter to Miyares was announced, Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said in a statement, “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.”
Some Virginia Democrats criticized Youngkin’s call to investigate the Fairfax school.
“There is no ‘deliberate attempt to disadvantage high-performing students at one of the best schools.’ Instead of focusing on the real needs of struggling / disadvantaged schools, Youngkin tilts at windmills and distracts again from the goal of helping ALL Va children succeed,” State Senator Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield) tweeted.
There is no "deliberate attempt to disadvantage high-performing students at one of the best schools." Instead of focusing on the real needs of struggling / disadvantaged schools, Youngkin tilts at windmills and distracts again from the goal of helping ALL Va children succeed. https://t.co/SkZitdRIgF
— Ghazala Hashmi (@SenatorHashmi) January 3, 2023
“Seems to be a typo in Gov’s release: should’ve read “Fairfax County Private School Parent Asks AG 2 Investigate Why Hyper-Conservative Education Agitator Claims Parents of High Performing Kids Don’t Know How 2 Login 2 Their College Bd Accts to Get Test Results Like Everyone Else,” State Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) tweeted.
— Blue Virginia (@bluevirginia) January 3, 2023
Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.