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Lawsuit Alleges Anti-Asian Discrimination In Admissions Change At Top-Ranked Virginia High School

Lawsuit Alleges Anti-Asian Discrimination In Admissions Change At Top-Ranked Virginia High School

Complaint: “Overwhelming public evidence exists that the new [Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology] admissions process was adopted with the purpose of disadvantaging Asian-American students and reducing AsianAmerican enrollment

We have been tracking the litigation against Harvard University alleging that affirmative action admissions policies are intended to and do discriminate primarily against Asian-American applicants, but also whites. A request has been filed for the Supreme Court to take the case after both the district and appeals courts ruled that while Harvard did discriminate, such discrimination was done lawfully.

There are a growing number of such discrimination claims around the country, as Critical Race activists demand elimination of standardized test and other academic scores even at the high school level in order to achieve “equity” of racial and ethnic groups.

Helen Raleigh writes in Newsweek about a conflict in Virginia, Asian Americans Emerging as a Strong Voice Against Critical Race Theory:

Asian parents are also alarmed about attempts to change admissions standards for colleges and top high schools at the expense of Asian American children. CRT activists have been pushing for lowering admission standards—or the complete removal of difficult entrance exams—to top high schools because “too many Asians” are in good schools, and Asians are so “over-represented” that these schools are not “diverse.” These were the arguments New York City mayor Bill de Blasio used to eliminate the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. He wanted to replace it with a new admissions process based on race, so the student bodies of New York City’s elite public high schools would mirror the city’s overall population composition and not be dominated by Asian kids. CACAGNY, along with Asian American families and other allies, fiercely protested the mayor’s proposal. The mayor recanted after his failed presidential bid.

However, CRT activists found success in other places. Last year, the Fairfax County public school board in Virginia canceled the entrance exam for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Last month, the San Francisco Unified School District voted to eliminate the merit-based admission process to Lowell High School, one of the city’s top high schools. The school board claimed such an admission process “perpetuates the culture of white supremacy and racial abuse towards Black and Latinx students,” even though students of color make up 75 percent of Lowell’s student body and more than half of them are Asian. Asian parents worry that eliminating merit-based admission will result in fewer admissions for qualified Asian students.

Those practices at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJ”) has now resulted in a lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation. AP reports:

Located in the suburbs of the nation’s capital, the school is frequently ranked as the best in the country, and families plan for years to try to help their children gain admission.

The student body is 70% Asian American, with minuscule numbers of Black and Hispanic students.

The Fairfax County school board voted last year to revise the admissions process and eliminate a standardized test that had been a key part of the evaluation process. It also set aside a specific number of slots for students at each of the middle schools in the county.

Board members have said they hope the new process increases Black and Hispanic representation in the student body.

The lawsuit, though, alleges that the set-asides will end up hurting Asian American families that are clustered in a handful of middle schools that currently send large numbers of students to “TJ,” as the school is known.

Erin Wilcox, a lawyer with the Pacific Legal Foundation, said at a press conference Wednesday that the policies themselves are discriminatory, but the intent is made even more clear by statements from board members who said they want the changes to result in a student body with a racial makeup that matches the county’s demographics.

“The discriminatory intent they’ve shown is intertwined and an inseparable part of the policies they put in place,” Wilcox said.

The Pacific Legal case page has more details, including a copy of the Complaint on behalf of Plaintiff Coalition for TJ (Coalition):

1. Plaintiff Coalition for TJ (Coalition) brings this civil rights lawsuit for declaratory
and injunctive relief to vindicate the rights of Asian-American public school children in and around
Fairfax County, Virginia, to compete on an equal footing for admission to the nationally-ranked
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) without regard to their race.

2. TJ is an Academic-Year Governor’s School administered by Fairfax County Public
Schools (FCPS). This action concerns FCPS’ recently-implemented overhaul of the TJ admissions
process, which eliminated the long-standing race-neutral standardized admissions test. The
Coalition alleges that these changes were specifically intended to reduce the percentage of AsianAmerican students who enroll in TJ, with the ultimate goal of racially balancing the school
according to the racial demographics of Fairfax County.

* * *

5. Overwhelming public evidence exists that the new TJ admissions process was
adopted with the purpose of disadvantaging Asian-American students and reducing AsianAmerican enrollment at TJ. As such, these changes violate the Equal Protection Clause.

In our virtual events on how CRT is damaging higher education and K-12, one of the things we discussed was the role of litigation. It’s my view that while local activism is essential, so too is holding all levels of education to the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and federal, state, and local non-discrimination laws.

The woke shouldn’t get a pass, and need to be held accountable in court. It’s the only way this insanity will stop.


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JusticeDelivered | March 12, 2021 at 9:28 pm

Everything should be merit based, that is what produces the best outcome for humanity. Knuckle draggers should not be allowed to degrade all of society to fluff their egos.

LukeHandCool | March 12, 2021 at 9:42 pm

Maybe the NFL and the NBA etc., need to be sued on grounds of inequity.

That may sound ridiculous, but I say it’s no more ridiculous than demanding academic racial equity when the intellectual skills are not there—-for whatever reason.

Let’s set academia aside and go to the arts. If the racial composition of symphony orchestras is deemed racist despite blind auditioning, than why are athletic pursuits exempt from this madness?

It’s time to up the ante. No Asian, Hispanic, (and too few white) pro athletes, no peace!!!

    Sounds great Luke, but private entities can still do things that public entities (or publicly funded private entities) cannot. So when the good guys ever get control of government again (doubtful) let’s just toss a few hundred billion into the next stimulus package and buy the NBA, NFL, MLB etc teams and dictate racial quotas for them.

      the_last_l3oyscout in reply to Carl. | March 13, 2021 at 8:51 am

      This could start at the university level. At the professional level, most of the stadiums and arenas are at least partially funded by taxpayer money. They are already publicly funded private entities. We don’t need to buy the leagues. We need them to buy the stadiums or diversify. The tax break Wrigley Field is getting for restoration also gives the government a vested interest in having a racially representative product on the field.

    Chicklet in reply to LukeHandCool. | March 13, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    Blind auditions? Not anymore, if you are the New York Philharmonic. It’s more important to have “diverse” musicians than great ones, so the army is out in force to end this raaaaacist practice.

    I mean, geez, why would we want to stage a competition and select the best?? Bah!

LukeHandCool | March 12, 2021 at 9:45 pm

Off topic but …

Light rain today and went hiking with the wife on a trail in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Due to the weather there was nobody else on the trail … except Joel Pollak of Breitbart News and his toddler son. Recognized him immediately. Very nice fellow.

Real American | March 12, 2021 at 10:39 pm

seems to me when school boards start complaining about the racial makeup of the student body and that something needs to be done, they are setting themselves up for lawsuits like this one. They’re outright admitting to their desire to racially discriminate to achieve some other result while insulting the students who are already there as if there is something wrong with them racially.

If a school board complained about the racial makeup of schools that had high percentages of black students and expressly changed admission standards to lower those percentages, they’d be rightfully liable for discrimination. But if they do the same thing to screw over whites or Asian students, they’re not subject to the same condemnation. Its ludicrous.

    Suing is great, but when you get an obama judge, you’re in a kangaroo court.
    Voting is the key. But voting now is completely corrupted. Those ‘ voting machines’ being used are a bad joke.

    Start talking about secession in a very serious way: the left will fall in line quick They can’ t afford their idiotic ‘utopia’ without us.

Diversity [dogma], not limited to racism, including affirmative discrimination under the State-established Progressive Church and Pro-Choice religion. One step forward, two steps backward.

If TJ eliminates the high admission standards to be more diverse it will become just like every other area high school. No more top tier status maybe above average.

    Dathurtz in reply to r2468. | March 13, 2021 at 9:47 am

    “Top-tier” schools have always been determined socially rather than academically.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Dathurtz. | March 13, 2021 at 11:37 am

      “Top-tier” = only those from “good families” are admitted. “Good family” being defined as old money, Prostestant, New England, family goes back 20 generations. Or: family buys the school a building.

      artichoke in reply to Dathurtz. | March 13, 2021 at 9:33 pm

      There’s the social top=tier and the academic one. TJ is purely academic, full of hard working and clever middle and working class kids. The social top tier would be more like private boarding schools, although they have a lot of strong students as well.

The Friendly Grizzly | March 13, 2021 at 6:32 am

I guess Asians are white now. They have failed to be failures.

We went from 2020 to 1984 in a hurry

(`not sure why but site didn’t recognize password been using)

If admissions criteria were being “adjusted” to reduce the number of black students I don’t doubt that would promptly be found in violation of a number of statutes, as well as unconstitutional.

IF courts are race-neutral then I would expect the same result when criteria are deliberately adjusted to reduce the presence of other races. But, it remains to be seen whether courts are capable of acting in a purely race-neutral manner.

Of course, even if courts can stop this racial discrimination this will not stop these fanatics who, it seems, would just as soon make everyone equal by eliminating merit-based selection altogether, thereby forcing all schools to teach at the level of the least-capable.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Albigensian. | March 13, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    If they changed back to solely merit based admissions, black enrolment would drop by close to two orders of magnitude.

So, my son-in-law, who happens to be Asian, should be discriminated against because he is intelligent, disciplined, and willing to work his ass off to succeed?

“Critical Race Theory” is a cancer.

    Ben Kent in reply to SField. | March 13, 2021 at 8:28 am

    It’s metastasizing..

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Ben Kent. | March 13, 2021 at 11:43 am

      I just get sick to death of all the bellyaching from blacks. Now, Evanston Ill-annoy wants to grand reparation payments to their blacks. $25,000. The tribal chieftains local NAACP “officials” have already said it’s “not enough”.

      What blacks need is all of their setasides and race-based stuff stopped. Bang. Now. Sink or swim, just like everyone else did.

Wouldn’t it be great if unneeded stimulus checks got sent to Donald’s PAC.

Voice_of_Reason | March 17, 2021 at 4:07 pm

It is absurd and kafkaesque to consider academic placement based in merit – and only merit – as “abuse of African Americans and Latinx” children.

A society cannot long survive if everything is reduced to the lowest common denominator, and people who don’t perform as well are placed above others who perform better. You can’t run a competitive endeavor that way.

For one thing, it cheapens the worth of the diplomas from those schools for all students. For another, everyone knows – but can’t publicly say- that POC with those diplomas did not earn them.

Unfortunately “educators” have discovered that it’s far easier to limit the achievement of the most capable than it is to boost the achievement of the least. And, if you’ve ever been around teachers, you may have noticed that they vastly prefer doing what’s easy to doing what’s hard.

Yet if one views this from a high level, what could be more suicidal than for a society to deliberately limit the achievements of its most capable? Who do they think is going to found that next great company or discover that breakthrough drug, the dullards who advance only because government favors them?

For that matter, it is only a rich society that can afford to provide well for those who lack the ability to provide for themselves. When we’re all equally impoverished, who do they think will look after these unfortunates?