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Fairfax community reacts to Youngkin's request for probe of scholarship announcement delay

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (7News)
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (7News)
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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is urging Attorney General Jason Miyares to investigate potential civil rights violations at a Fairfax County High School.

In a blistering letter, Governor Youngkin tells AG Miyares ”I am stunned by news reports alleging that information about National Merit Awards was withheld from students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology until after important deadlines for college scholarships had passed.”

7News brought you this story first last week.

“I believe this failure may have caused material harm to those students and their parents,” Youngkin said Tuesday.

The governor’s request is coming at a time when the Fairfax County school board and superintendent are emphasizing equity and equal outcomes in schools.

Gov. Youngkin urges AG Miyares to launch investigation into Fairfax County schools

“This whole notion of equity in education, equal outcomes, is just nonsense,” said Suresh Shenoy.

Businessman Suresh Shenoy wants the principal of TJ to be fired.

Over the years, Shenoy has been involved in the development of TJ, and he says merit and hard work must be recognized.

“I think it’s of paramount importance that we look at what is happening at TJ as something that we should nip in the bud before it becomes a national phenomenon. It’s already getting there,” said Shenoy.

“If people are unwilling to stand up to those who are crying out for equity, etc. then, yes, America is going the wrong way,” added Shenoy.

Youngkin’s letter mentions the investigation he launched in Loudoun County and without that investigation. Youngkin says the school board and school administrators would not have been held accountable “for deceiving the very Virginians they serve.”

Youngkin added, “just as Virginians deserve answers and assurance that the safety of their children will never be comprised, they also deserve transparency when it comes to student achievements.”

Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears applauded Youngkin’s request for an investigation.

“New year, same Hell. What in the world is going on? And that’s what this investigation that the Governor has called for is going to determine,” Earle-Sears told 7News.

Earle-Sears is also slamming Fairfax County Public Schools for how much taxpayer funds the school system is spending on equity consultants.

“What we do know, possibly alleged, is that the taxpayers money, half a million dollars were used to find an equity company," Earle-Sears said. "And the guarantee would be that this company would guarantee the outcome for everyone. Equal outcome. Folks, that doesn't happen anywhere in life, nobody is guaranteed an equal outcome. What we want to guarantee is equal opportunity. That's what the American Dream is all about.”

FCPS sent 7News this statement:

“We are aware of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s comments today and we share his desire to get to the facts surrounding the delay in notification of National Merit Commendations at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology for 2022. Indeed, we have initiated a third-party, independent investigation into this matter. Our preliminary understanding is that the delay this fall was a unique situation due to human error. The investigation will continue to examine our records in further detail and we will share key findings with our community. In addition, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid is meeting with families this evening to listen to their concerns. Should the Virginia Attorney General’s office initiate an investigation, FCPS stands ready to work with our partners at the state level.

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"As a reminder, once this error was brought to light, school staff reached out to colleges to update records where commended scholars had applied.”

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