On June 6, parents of students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) elected a new executive board for the TJ Parent, Teacher, and Student Association (PTSA).
Four of these newly elected members — including the first black association president, Harry Jackson, Second Vice President Jun Wang, Treasurer Himanshu Verma, and Corresponding Secretary Hanning Chen — are members of the Coalition for TJ, a parents’ group that organized last year in opposition to the Fairfax County School Board’s plan to eliminate race-blind, merit-based admissions to the formerly elite public high school. They also oppose teaching critical race theory.
The Virginia education establishment decided they couldn’t abide parents opposing their ideological hobbyhorses, even if parents who elected a parent association board with an unprecedented level of racial representation. So they plan to dissolve the parents’ association and elect another. Understand, the newly elected board hasn’t even met yet.
Last week Virginia Parent-Teacher Association responded to the local chapter’s officer elections by notifying the group of its intent to revoke their charter and dissolve the chapter. It’s a tactic perfected by tyrants everywhere.
Don’t like election results? Run a new election to get the “correct” results. Or, even better, eliminate the troublesome representative body altogether. It’s no wonder Marxist-based critical race theory has found a home with these folks.
One of Virginia PTA’s stated bases for revoking the local charter is especially rich: they complain its president-elect has called for electronic votes. You read that right: the same education establishment that kept our kids home learning on Zoom all year and refused to go back to in-person teaching even after pushing teachers to the front of the vaccination line is complaining about electronic voting.
It gets better. The Virginia PTA complained “several TJ PTSA Executive Committee members appeared in a news article asserting that their personal views … represented the views and opinions of the TJHSST PTSA membership.” The horror: Elected members of the parent association board suggesting their views might represent those of their constituents! These are the people teaching our children civics?
Finally, the Virginia PTA claimed the newly elected TJ parents’ officers are “bullying” the outgoing officers and creating a “hostile volunteer environment.” Please. Bullying is the Loudoun County School Board shutting down open discussion and public comment because members don’t like the comments and having any citizen who won’t leave the room arrested. It’s also the Virginia PTA dissolving a local parent-teacher association chapter because it doesn’t approve of the officer election results.
And “creating a hostile environment”? How about the Fairfax County School Board reengineering Thomas Jefferson High School’s formerly selective admissions process to deliberately reduce the number of Asian students? Just last week, TJ revealed the percentage of Asian students offered admissions plummeted from 73 percent last year to 54 percent this year. Asians were, by design, the only demographic group whose numbers decreased from last year to this year.
If you’re keeping score at home, the Virginia PTA has no issue with an admissions process that discriminates against Asian students, but electronic voting by a local PTA board is verboten.
In so many areas of Virginia politics, one-party rule by Democrats has allowed them to go off the deep end with their ideologies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in their approach to schools, which they treat as laboratories for leftist political theories rather than a place to educate children.
Rather than improve math and science education in elementary and junior high schools to increase black and Hispanic student enrollment at TJ — one of the root causes of TJ’s admissions disparities — Democrats simply choose to rewrite TJ’s admissions policies. But if TJ’s curriculum remains as rigorous as ever, and elementary and junior high schools don’t improve the math and science education they provide black and Hispanic students, they are setting these students up for failure at TJ. That doesn’t benefit anybody, the students least of all.
Rather than teaching American history honestly, Democrats want to drench every inch of our education in race and ignore the fact that America provides more upward mobility for all races than any other country in the world. It’s no accident people clamor to immigrate to this country. Sensible suburban parents think it’s not too much to ask schools to teach American children why.
Suburban parents are in revolt. They don’t want their children to be guinea pigs in Democrats’ faddish educational experiments. Yet far-left Democrats’ response to parents’ legitimate concerns has been to ignore them high-handedly and advise parents that beatings will continue until morale improves.
The next beating may come in November, when Virginia parents seek to introduce two-party balance to combat Democrats’ ideological extremism.