Merit Awards Saga Deepens As Two More Schools Admit Role

Two more Fairfax high schools have admitted to withholding National Merit Awards from their students in a strange bid to push equity amongst their students.

Principals at Langley High School and Westfield High School notified parents that their children received the awards but were not notified immediately.

Langley High School Principal Kim Greer sent an email to parents on Friday evening informing them that their children had received the awards from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Greer told the parents that the notifications came late because the school had deviated from its traditional method of notifying parents and students.

“I must apologize that certificates were not distributed to these Langley High School students in the usual way this past fall,” Greer wrote in the email.

Westfield High School Principal Tony DiBari told parents on Sunday evening that students slated to receive the award were also not notified immediately.

The pair of admissions comes after Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears called for an investigation into Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology for withholding the national merit awards from students.

Sears, who described the decision as “reprehensible,” revealed that she reached out to the state governor and attorney general, asking them to investigate the issue.

“Our children’s education is not a zero-sum game,” Sears added. “We cannot punish success in order to have equal outcomes at all costs.”

Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin has also called on state Attorney General Jason Miyares to open a civil right investigation into the saga. In a letter to Miyares, Youngkin said he was “stunned” by the news and that failure to notify the students may have “violated Virginia Human Rights Act.”

Miyares, in a tweet, announced he would be investigating Jefferson for civil rights violations.

“Discrimination in school based on race is a violation of our Human Rights Act, and we will look into possible violations immediately,” Miyares said.

According to Fox 5 DC, some parents call for the school’s principal’s sack. Shawna Yashar, a parent at the school, claimed the school had not been properly informing students of their awards for years.

Parents also claimed that the delays could have a negative impact on their children’s college applications, as the notification came too late for them to include the awards in their applications.

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