Civil Rights Probe Widens to Include Entire Fairfax County School District

EdNews Virginia | January 9, 2023

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced today that his probe into possible violations of the Virginia Human Rights Act by school officials in Fairfax County will now include the entire district, not just Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

“It’s concerning that multiple schools throughout Fairfax County withheld merit awards from students,” Miyares said today. “My office will investigate the entire Fairfax County Public Schools system to find out if any students were discriminated against and if their rights were violated.”

Miyares informed Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) of the widened probe today in a letter sent to Superintendent Michelle Reid. “My office will investigate whether any students’ rights were violated as a consequence of alleged withholding of National Merit recognition by high school administrators or FCPS,” the letter reads.

Read the attorney general’s letter:

Last week, Miyares announced his initial probe into Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology over allegations that administrators withheld National Merit commendations from students. Today’s widened investigation follows news over the weekend that two additional schools in Fairfax County — Langley High School and Westfield High School — similarly withheld commendations.

Reid issued a statement later this afternoon, acknowledging “that there are two other schools where students did not receive timely notification of their designation as Commended Students this fall.” In a message published last week, the superintendent tentatively characterized Thomas Jefferson High School’s withholding of commendations as “a unique situation due to human error.”

This article was updated to include comments from Superintendent Michelle Reid.