HomeCampusFed judge rules elite high school discriminates against Asian Am

Fed judge rules elite high school discriminates against Asian Am

A federal judge on Friday ruled that a policy to increase the number of Black and Hispanic students at a Virginia magnet school discriminated against Asian Americans.

The Gazette reports that Judge Claude Hilton concluded that the admissions program at Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax violated federal law.

“Even aside from the statements confirming that the board’s goal was to bring racial balance to TJ, the board’s requests for racial data demonstrate discriminatory intent,” Hilton wrote. “Discriminatory intent does not require racial animus. What matters is that the board acted at least in part because of, not merely in spite of the policy’s adverse effects upon an identifiable group.”

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund along with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, Asian American LEAD and other civil rights groups condemned the decision.

“For well over a decade, the admission process at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology continuously failed to identify all Black, Latinx, and underserved Asian American students with the aptitude to excel at TJ. All students deserve a fair shot at receiving an excellent education, regardless of their income, where they grew up, or their racial and ethnic background, the groups said.

The Coalition for TJ, which included some Asian American parents, celebrated their court victory.

“We hope this ruling sends the message that government cannot choose who receives the opportunity to attend public schools based on race or ethnicity,” attorney Erin Wilcox said to the Gazette.

During the 20-21 school year, Asian Americans comprised 72% of the student body, but fell by 19% the following year, reported the Daily Caller. The school’s policy for admittance included attendance at a middle school underrepresented at Jefferson, along with eligibility for free or reduced lunch costs and status as an English language learner.

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