(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Administrators at the Thomas Jefferson School for Science and Technology—an elite high school in Virginia—systematically discriminated against Asian students for years in order to give more recognition to lower-performing minority groups, the New York Post reported.
Specifically, administrators at the prestigious magnet school hid details about the National Merit scholarships—a major boon for those applying to elite universities that uses students’ average scores on the PSAT to determine eligibility.
“Keeping these certificates from students is theft by the state,” said Shawna Yashar, a lawyer and parent of a student at the school.
Instead of honoring the students for their high achievements, administrators systematically avoided announcing the awards, which in turn harmed their college applications.
According to Yashar, school Principal Ann Bonitatibus and Director of Student Services Brandon Kosatka withheld information from families and the larger public for five years now–the length of Bonitatibus’s tenure as principal.
Over 1,200 students were affected by the decision, and millions of dollars in scholarships were likely lost.
According to the report, other awards were lost out on as well.
“On September 16 of this year, National Merit sent a letter to Bonitatibus listing 240 students recognized as Commended Students or Semi-Finalists,” Yashar noted. “The letter included these words in bold type: ‘Please present the letters of commendation as soon as possible since it is the students’ only notification.'”
Part of the district’s policy is to never hand out “0” grades for students who failed to do anything.