A now infamous Virginia school district found itself in yet another race-related controversy, this time for alleged discrimination of admission into a college prep program.
On March 1, 2023, a letter that was dated February 21, 2023, was emailed to parents of Fairfax County Public Schools students attending Cooper Middle School in McLean, Virginia informing them of the FCPS College Partnership Program. This program would include counseling, application assistance, and even an on-campus summer experience with, as journalist Asra Nomani pointed out, a few racially charged caveats.
“In the 20th century, Asian Exclusion Act denied Asians equal opportunities. Now @FCPSNews promotes a college prep program with race-based admissions, excluding Asians + whites,” she tweeted with a screen capture of the email. “A judge already ruled FCPS violated US Constitution in new anti-Asian admissions.”
In the 20th century, Asian Exclusion Act denied Asians equal opportunities. Now @FCPSNews promotes a college prep program with race-based admissions, excluding Asians + whites. A judge already ruled FCPS violated US Constitution in new anti-Asian admissions @TJHSST_Official. pic.twitter.com/RnQ2SRAv3D
— Asra Nomani (@AsraNomani) March 7, 2023
“Do you have an 8th grader who WANTS to go to college? AND Do they fall into one or more of these categories?” the email read before listing:
- Students who are the first in their family to attend college in the [U.S.]
- Black or African American students
- Hispanic students, of one or more race
- Students with disabilities
- English learners
- Economically disadvantaged students.”
Nomani went on to detail in the Fairfax Times: “At least three racial minority groups who are protected from discrimination in the United States of America under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing equal protection under the law,” were missing from the letter.
“Fairfax County Public Schools deliberately excludes Asian students, who number 34,392 students this 2022-2023 school year, or 19% of the total student population of 181,447 students according to school district data tabulated in February,” she continued. “The letter sent from Cooper Middle School also excludes students in the race and ethnicity categories of ‘American Indian or Alaskan Native,’ of which the school district has 498 students or 0.27% of the total student body, and ‘Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander,’ of which there are 211 students or 0.12% of the total number of students.”
Her report indicated that black students represent roughly 10 percent and Hispanics made up about 28 percent, whereas white students accounted for 37 percent of the student body in FCPS.
Reacting to the email, father and attorney Glenn Miller told the Times, “This program excludes children based on race, and it seems to be in direct violation of the school district’s own anti-discrimination policy.”
That policy states, “No applicant or employee on the basis of race, sex, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, genetic information, pregnancy status, childbirth or related medical conditions, marital status, veteran status, and disability shall be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any education program or activity, as required by law.”
As previously reported, FCPS was already exposed after the principal and director of student services at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology was found to be withholding notifications of National Merit commendations from students so as to protect the feelings of those who had not won the awards.
“This scandal…emerges as @FCPSSUPT @FCPSNews board launches a plan for ‘equal outcomes for every student, without exception,’ with ‘equitable grading,’ giving students 50% just for showing up,” Nomani had commented.
Cooper Middle School had reportedly not offered a comment on the College Partnership Program.
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