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Supreme Court justices have temporarily reinstated a woke admissions policy at one of America’s top schools despite a federal judge previously ruling it was racist.
The high court did not explain its order Monday that allows the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology to continue using its admissions policy, while the Fairfax County School Board appeals the lower court’s February ruling.
Fairfax County School Board changed its admissions policy in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in May 2020 to boost ‘equity’ at the school.
Black and Hispanic students made up a very small portion of the student body. That has now changed – but Asian-American parents say it has come at the expense of their children, and that it is racist.
U.S. Supreme Court declined to block an elite Virginia public high school’s admissions policy – designed to increase its racial and socioeconomic diversity. Pictured above, the school in question, Thomas Jefferson High School
Parents had protested the ‘unfair’ admissions process at a school board meeting in March with some Asian American parents in Fairfax County saying the policy discriminated against their children.
On this occasion, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to step in to prevent Fairfax County Public Schools from using the admissions policy for next school year.
The county public school system made changes in order to try to bring more diversity to the school, leading to a lawsuit against the school board.
Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted the request from the parents’ group, Coalition for TJ, to suspend the admissions policy.
The court has a 6-3 conservative majority, with the woke policy highly-likely to be struck out if it does appear before the justices as a full case.
Asra Q. Nomani is the mother of a 2021 TJ graduate and co-founder of Coalition for TJ and vice president at Parents Defending Education who sued the school
In February, the group persuaded U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton that a new policy that has boosted black and Hispanic representation amounted to impermissible ‘racial balancing’ at the selective school near the nation’s capital.
It is often ranked as one of the best public high schools in the country.
Asian American students constituted more than 70% of the student body.
Under the new policy, used to admit the school’s current freshman class, Asian American representation decreased to 54%. Black students increased from 1% to 7% and Hispanic representation increased from 3% to 11%.
Anti-Critical Race Theory campaigner Asra Nomani, whose child graduated from the school last year claimed the school was making race a factor in the admissions criteria and discriminating against Asian children.
She said TJ, which ranked the number one school nationwide in the US News Best High Schools report last April and as a public school has no tuition fees, has ‘systematically set out to reduce’ the number of Asian students joining.
Nomani said she and her fellow campaigners were disappointed with the Supreme Court ruling, but hopeful that their case would ultimately be upheld.
Hilton had ordered the new policy suspended, but the federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, said it could be used while the case continues to play out in the courts.
The plaintiffs in the case said that increasing the number of black students ‘had a substantial adverse impact on Asian American students…in order to achieve its desired racial balance.’
Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, all seen left, said they would have granted the request from the parents’ group, Coalition for TJ, to suspend the admissions policy
The school board also stated that the policy was race-neutral because it did not set any racial targets and the race of applicants was not known to admissions officials.
In a statement Monday evening, Coalition for TJ said: ‘We were hopeful that we would win this battle to vacate the stay in the highest court of the land, but our struggle for justice is not over. We are not at all dissuaded.’
A statement from Fairfax County Public Schools reads: ‘Today’s action by the U.S. Supreme Court will allow a race-blind and fair admissions process to proceed for this fall’s entering freshman class at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) while the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond considers the underlying appeal. The Fourth Circuit has approved Fairfax County Public Schools’ request for an expedited schedule to resolve the legal issues involved in the admissions process.’
‘We continue to believe our new plan for TJ admissions is merit-based and race-blind,’ said FCPS Division Counsel John Foster. ‘We are confident that after considering the facts and the law, the appeals court will decide that our plan meets all the legal requirements and guarantees every qualified student will have the chance of being admitted to the finest public science and technology high school in the country.’