Parents plan to bring fight with Fairfax County School Board to the Supreme Court

A group of parents who lost in a Virginia-based Federal Appeals Court fight over Thomas Jefferson High School's admissions policy are speaking out and saying they're ready to keep up the fight.

Asra Nomani is the parent of a recent graduate from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which is ranked the best high school in the country by U.S. News. She's part of Coalition For TJ – the group challenging the admissions policy claiming it discriminates against Asian applicants. Below is the full interview with Asra Nomani. 

Nomani says they had to lose this round in court to ultimately win at the Supreme Court.

"I’m doing this because we need to fight for equal opportunity in the United States of America," Nomani told FOX 5. "I’m an immigrant from India. So many parents who arrived with their students now at TJ are immigrants, and we came here because of that 14th Amendment – equal protection under the law."


Justices allow new admissions policy at Thomas Jefferson High School to continue

The high court did not explain its order Monday allowing the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology to continue using its admissions policy while the Fairfax County School Board appeals the lower court ruling.

Two judges on the fourth circuit panel in this case – both appointed by Democratic presidents – said the Fairfax County School Board did not have a discriminatory intent when it adopted this admissions policy. They also said the policy does not have an unintentional discriminatory effect on Asian applicants. 

The school board changed the admissions guidelines after the previous policy produced classes largely from a limited group of middle schools with very few low-income students, English language learners, special education, and few Black, Hispanic, or multiracial students. 

The revised policy, challenged in this suit, is designed to promote diversity but in a race-neutral way, according to the court.

Judge Allison Rushing, appointed by President Trump, dissented. She said the policy reduced offers of enrollment to Asian students by 26% while increasing enrollment in every other racial group and that the board intended to alter the racial composition of the school in exactly this way.

The Fairfax County School Board sent FOX 5 a statement saying: "The board is committed to providing fair and equitable educational opportunities to all students. The court decision this week confirms that we are moving in the right direction."