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Virginia Governor Launches Woke Investigation – Youngkin Just Demanded Answers on School’s Withheld Student Awards
By Ben Dutka|January 5, 2023
Virginia Governor Launches Woke Investigation – Youngkin Just Demanded Answers on School’s Withheld Student Awards

The battle against the woke agenda in American schools continues. And concerned parents are notching victories all across the nation, including in Democrat bastions like California.

In addition to the pushing of liberal views, there’s another issue: merit playing second-fiddle to “equity.”

That’s a controversial idea that one Republican Governor is cracking down on — and it could lead to a full-fledged investigation.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the Attorney General are looking into disturbing reports from one of the nation’s largest school districts. Fairfax County is now in their crosshairs.

Apparently, they’ve learned that schools in the district are actually withholding awards from students who deserved them, for “equity” reasons.

Gov. Youngkin won’t allow this, however. Here’s what he had to say in a statement:

I am stunned by news reports alleging that information about National Merit Awards, as determined by student PSAT scores, was withheld from students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology until after important deadlines for college scholarships had passed.

I believe this failure may have caused material harm to those students and their parents, and that this failure may have violated the Virginia Human Rights Act.

Parents matter. Students matter. We also know that achievement matters.

Under scrutiny is the National Merit Scholarship Commended Student initiative. This means the student must be in the top 3 percent of high schoolers in the country in the area of academic achievement.

Obviously, schools were often quick to reward the deserving students.

But in this case, Principal Ann Bonitatibus evidently didn’t tell students about their award until after the college admissions window had passed. And if this was done intentionally, that’s a serious problem.

According to an unnamed school counselor, it absolutely was deliberate: part of the school’s “equity” mandate.

Parent Shawna Yashar said that the school’s Director of Student Services, Brandon Kosatka, told her on the phone that they didn’t want to “hurt the feelings” of those who didn’t achieve as highly.

Another parent said that her son didn’t find out he won the award until after he’d graduated, which many parents are saying is part of the race-crazy education system.

One local group, called the Army of Parents, have demanded that both Bonitatibus and Kosatka be fired, and issued the following fiery statement:

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is only happening in one school, in one state. Virginia is the tip of the spear, where ideologues test how much they can get away with…

This war on merit will not result in positive outcomes for anyone. Parents everywhere should use this as a cautionary tale and insist merit be required, rewarded, and loudly applauded.

Gov. Youngkin and AG Miyares aren’t about to let any of this slide, and they intend to look into the matter thoroughly.

The idea of punishing students who achieve to coddle those who don’t is arguably one of the most dangerous theories a civilization can entertain. Punishing the achievers simply doesn’t work.

Key Takeaways:

  • Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is looking into accusations of a school’s focus on “equity” rather than achievement.
  • The school district is accused of withholding National Merit awards from students, so it wouldn’t “hurt other students’ feelings.”
  • Local group Army of Parents has demanded firings, and calls this a “cautionary tale.”

Source: The Daily Wire

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Ben Dutka
Ben S. Dutka is a journalist, writer and editor with over two decades of experience. He has worked with three newspapers and eight online publications, and he has also won a Connecticut short story contest entitled Art as Muse, Imaginary Realms. He has a penchant for writing, rowing, reading, video games, and Objectivism.
Ben S. Dutka is a journalist, writer and editor with over two decades of experience. He has worked with three newspapers and eight online publications, and he has also won a Connecticut short story contest entitled Art as Muse, Imaginary Realms. He has a penchant for writing, rowing, reading, video games, and Objectivism.
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