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Investigation launched into top-ranked excessive faculties accused of withholding pupil’s nationwide advantage awards


State officers have launched an investigation into a number of excessive faculties in Northern Virginia for allegedly “withholding advantage awards” after protests from mother and father of high-achieving college students, Virginia Lawyer Basic Jason Miyares introduced Monday in a press launch.

“It’s regarding that a number of faculties all through Fairfax County withheld advantage awards from college students,” Miyares stated, including, “My workplace will examine the whole Fairfax County Public Faculties system to search out out if any college students had been discriminated in opposition to and if their rights had been violated.”

PHOTO: Thomas Jefferson High School is seen, July 1, 2020, in Alexandria, Va.

The Washington Submit through Getty Pictures

Thomas Jefferson Excessive Faculty is seen, July 1, 2020, in Alexandria, Va.

The expanded investigation comes every week after Miyares launched a civil rights investigation into the administration of Thomas Jefferson Excessive Faculty for Science and Expertise in Fairfax, Virginia, for “the opportunity of illegal discrimination in violation of the Virginia Human Rights Act.”

The college was accused final month of not telling college students they’d certified for a Nationwide Advantage Award to keep away from upsetting others who had not.

“They needed to attempt to discover a time that they may hand them out to college students, when the scholars that did not obtain them would not really feel unhealthy,” Shawnna Yashar, a guardian of a pupil at Thomas Jefferson Excessive Faculty for Science and Expertise, advised ABC Information final month.

PHOTO: Shawnna Yashar is a parent speaking out against Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax, Virginia.

ABC

Shawnna Yashar is a guardian talking out in opposition to Thomas Jefferson Excessive Faculty for Science and Expertise in Fairfax, Virginia.

Over the weekend, two different Virginia excessive faculties, Langley Excessive Faculty and Westfield Excessive Faculty, despatched emails to folks apologizing for not sharing the Nationwide Advantage Awards info with college students, in line with ABC Information reporting.

College students qualify by reaching a excessive rating on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Check (PSAT).

Yashar advised ABC Information she referred to as the Nationwide Advantage Scholarship Company and a spokesperson advised her the notification letters had been despatched to varsities in September. Thomas Jefferson Excessive Faculty didn’t notify college students till December, she stated.

“Holding this info not solely from the youngsters, but additionally from their mother and father was simply the fallacious factor for the college to do,” stated Yashar.

Yashar and others declare the delay doubtlessly triggered college students to overlook deadlines for including the consideration to their faculty functions. Yashar stated the consideration may have helped her son safe acceptance, scholarships or grants.

“The early utility deadline for universities was Nov. 1 and this was Dec. 12 or thirteenth. When this occurred, some faculties had already made their selections,” stated Yashar.

A spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Faculties advised ABC Information the delay was resulting from “human error.”

“Our preliminary understanding is that the delay this fall was a singular scenario resulting from human error,” the spokesperson advised ABC Information final month. “As soon as this error was delivered to gentle, college employees reached out to high schools to replace information the place recommended students had utilized.”

Faculty officers additionally advised ABC Information that “to recommend a deliberate intent to withhold this info could be inaccurate and opposite to the values” of the college district.

In response to the brand new allegations, Fairfax County Public Faculties launched an announcement Monday from Superintendent Michelle Reid that apologized for the “error.”

“Employees has been contacting faculties the place these college students have utilized to tell them of the Nationwide Advantage Scholarship Company commendations. We’re sincerely sorry for this error. Every pupil, their expertise and success, stay our precedence,” stated Rein in a part of the assertion obtained by ABC Information.

PHOTO: Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears spoke to "GMA" about the situation at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax, Virginia.

ABC

Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears spoke to “GMA” concerning the scenario at Thomas Jefferson Excessive Faculty for Science and Expertise in Fairfax, Virginia.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears advised ABC Information final month that she was “furious” concerning the scenario.

“I am completely furious and it is not even my youngster,” she stated. “So I can simply think about the mother and father whose kids endure this and what do you say to the kid?”

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