(USNewsMag.com) – Following a major scandal that shook several Northern Virginia counties, the Commonwealth’s Attorney General, Jason Miyares, has opened an investigation to determine whether or not the decision to withhold student notifications of National Merit Scholarship Program achievements was racially motivated.
The National Merit scandal occurred at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. Students were allegedly not notified until after their college applications were submitted that they had qualified for National Merit recognition. The scandal first broke when parents of students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology accused the school of failing to inform the students who had received commendations.
The school admitted to the delay but blamed it on human error. After looking into the situation, the Virginia AG office widened the probe to encompass the entire Fairfax County school district as complaints from other schools began rolling in with similar claims.
During a school board meeting in January, Prince William County school district superintendent LaTanya McDade admitted that the failure to notify students of their National Merit Scholarship Program achievements had occurred in that county as well. Much like the initial case, McDade blamed human error and offered an apology for what she referred to as an “oversight.”
The scandal has since spread to 17 separate schools in four different counties. According to Jason Miyares, his office has found over 1,000 students who were not notified of their achievements of which “over 70%” were Asian American. Citing a Virginia statute, the Attorney General said that denying benefits, recognition, or admission based on race or ethnicity is not legal in the Commonwealth.
Speaking to Breitbart News Saturday, he expressed a suspicion that the scandal could be based on racial discrimination. Miyares said Fairfax County Schools paid an equity consultant nearly half a million dollars to advise the district on equity and equal outcomes. Paraphrasing, he said the consultant encouraged treating students unequally to get equal outcomes for all.
If it is determined that failure to notify certain students was based on race, those administrators would be in violation of Virginia law.
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