‘Cease and Desist’: Virginia Attorney General Demands Fairfax County Middle School Stop Race-Based Discrimination

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares sent a formal letter to the middle school currently at the center of a controversy regarding racial discrimination against white and asian students.

Miyares in his letter demanded that Cooper Middle School, part of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), stop discriminating students who were applying for their College Partnership Program (CPP) courses based on race. In an email that went out to students and parents on March 1st, the invitation to apply for the CPP specifically addressed black, hispanic, multi-racial students, as well as students with disabilities, those who did not speak English as a first language, those living in poverty, and those who would be the first in their families to attend college.

“Please cease and desist the illegal conduct of soliciting and selecting applicants to the College Partnership Program based on race, color, and national origin,” demanded Miyares in his letter to Cooper Middle School’s principle, highlighting that their conduct violated the Virginia Human Rights Act.

RELATED: Tensions Rise In Virginia Schools Over Racial Issues

False Narratives?

Attorney General Miyares also requested that by March 17th, the school provide evidence that they have “retracted and corrected” their original CPP invitation, and that all applications be processed in a way that was “nondiscriminatory and legal in manner.” His letter also added that this correspondence would, as The Epoch Times stated,  “act as a litigation hold, preventing the school and its officers from deleting records.”

Miyares issued a press release after sending the letter, stating:

“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… I demand that Cooper Middle School, its administrators, and anyone involved in this program stop this illegal discrimination immediately.”

FCPS replied to the AG’s statement, calling his description of events “wholly inaccurate.”

“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,” said a spokesperson for FCPS in a statement given to The Epoch Times who had reached out for further comments. “Instead, false and damaging public accusations against Cooper Middle School have been made.”

“In fact, in School Year 2022-23, 352 Asian students (17.4 percent) and 176 white students (8.7 percent) 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,” the FCPS representative added. “Publishing false narratives like this undermines public school efforts to boost U.S. educational achievement.”

RELATED: Virginia Middle School Says White and Asian Students Need Not Apply for College Prep Courses

But What About the Email?

During The Epoch Times’ correspondence with FCPS, the district’s spokesperson would not comment on the email from Cooper Middle School that sparked this situation.

One father of an asian FCPS student who spoke with the Times ,who wished to remain unnamed, stated that he was “concerned” that the school seemed to have invited only black and hispanic students into the CPP, saying “This is not right. It’s not right.”

Victoria LaCivita, the spokeswoman for Miyares’ office, told the press that “The email from Cooper Middle School speaks for itself and, in the judgement of the Attorney General, violates the law.”

“That is why Attorney General Miyares has demanded a correction to the email,” she continued. “If FCPS truly wants to boost educational achievement and not undermine it, it should stop sending emails like the on it did. Discrimination has no place in education, and Attorney General Miyares will continue to demand that it stops.”

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