A parents group is claiming documents obtained in a lawsuit over admissions policies to an elite high school prove that a northern Virginia school board had a bias against students of Asian descent.
Purported discussions among members of the Fairfax County School Board mentioned “an anti asian feel underlying” the pursuit of changes to the admissions process for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), according to emails, texts, and other documents published by Parents Defending Education (PDE). TJHSST is considered the number one high school in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
“In fall 2020, Fairfax County, Va., school board members said the quiet part out loud,” PDE Vice President for Strategy & Investigations Asra Nomani, wrote in an article on Substack discussing the comments in the alleged discussions.
The effort to recall Fairfax County School Board Member Elaine Tholen hit a dead end Friday, when Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Hingeley asked Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Richard Gardiner to dismiss the recall petition. According to Tholen’s press release, Hingeley said the petition did not have factual allegations that met the legal standard.
“In this case, a small group of people unhappy about Covid restrictions tried to use the law to substitute their opinion for a unanimous consensus of the Fairfax County School Board. I was happy to hear the special prosecutor tell the judge that the case was about a policy disagreement, and that the recall process is not a vehicle to resolve such disputes with elected officials and governing bodies. That is why we have elections,” Tholen said.
A recall petition targeting Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) Board Member Ian Serotkin has 110 percent of the signatures needed, Fight for Schools PAC organizer Ian Prior said Friday. Recall petitions aimed at other school board members are also nearing target amounts. The PAC has 88 percent of signatures needed for the Denise Corbo petition, 75 percent of signatures needed for the Leslee King petition, 54 percent of signatures for the Atoosa Reaser petition, and 50 percent of signatures needed for the Brenda Sheridan petition.
The Open FCPS Coalition submitted signatures to recall Fairfax County Public School Board Member Elaine Tholen on Monday. The petitions were launched during frustration about the school’s pandemic virtual learning policies.
“Today symbolizes the culmination of collective efforts of dozens of volunteers and thousands of parents, all to send a clear message to the Fairfax County School Board that our community must return to the business of putting the education and well-being of children first,” Open FCPS member Ian Tompkins said in a Monday press conference.
A group of parents is collecting signatures to recall three members of the Fairfax County Public School Board (FCPS). FCPS has announced plans to have five-days-a-week, in-person school in the upcoming school year. But the Open FCPS Coalition is still seeking to recall Springfield District Member Laura Jane Cohen, Dranesville District Member Elaine Tholen, and At-Large Member Abrar Omeish.