RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) — Attorney General Jason Miyares sent a letter on Thursday demanding a Fairfax County Middle School to "stop unlawfully discriminating in connection with a college preparatory program."
According to Miyares, last week, administrators from Cooper Middle School sent an email to all parents offering a college prep program, but only for certain racial or ethnic groups.
Activity such as this is prohibited by the Virginia Human Rights Act.
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Miyares' letter says that Cooper Middle School has seven days to retract and correct their "discriminatory email" and to show they are conducting the application process legally. If the middle school fails to comply, Miyares could file a lawsuit against the school under the Virginia Human Rights Act.
"It's shocking that we continue to find such blatant examples of racial and ethnic discrimination in the Fairfax County Public School System. Every student should be able to apply for the College Partnership Program and have the same opportunities as their peers, regardless of race," said Miyares. "I demand that Cooper Middle School, its administrators, and anyone involved in this program stop this illegal discrimination immediately."
Fairfax County Public Schools provided a statement to ABC 13 about Miyares' claims:
“As stated previously, media coverage referencing a ban on certain demographic groups applying to the College Partnership Program is wholly inaccurate. In fact, in School Year 2022-23, 352 Asian students (17.4%) and 176 white students (8.7%) out of a total of 2,018 students were enrolled in the program which is designed to encourage historically underrepresented groups to consider a path to college.
We are disappointed that no one from the Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia contacted Fairfax County Public Schools to check on the authenticity of these reports. Instead, false and damaging public accusations against Cooper Middle School have been made.
Publishing false narratives like this undermine public school efforts to boost U.S. educational achievement.”
The district also breaks down enrollment demographics on this webpage.