Criminal Charges Against Conservative School Activist Dismissed

by James A. Bacon

A General District Court judge has dismissed criminal charges leveled by against Harry Jackson, a conservative parent active in the Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology admissions controversy. A Fairfax magistrate had charged Jackson, who had alleged in tweets and a YouTube video that a political antagonist had engaged in “grooming” of high school students, with slander.

What made the case unique, said, a criminal justice group that represented Jackson, “is that criminal charges were brought to suppress the concerns of a conservative parent — as opposed to a civil lawsuit — and a George Soros-sponsored prosecutor allowed for the criminal prosecution to take place over the course of seven months.”

“Rather than investigating an adult’s unsettling behavior around minor children,” said lead defense attorney Marina Medvin, “the prosecutor’s office instead investigated my client’s use of the word ‘grooming’ on social media.”

Jackson, who is African-American and a parent of a Thomas Jefferson student, played a lead role in fighting the Fairfax County School Board’s scrapping of admissions test results as the primary criteria for admitting students. School officials claimed that the test favored Asian-Americans over other racial/ethnic groups, especially Hispanics and African-Americans.

Asra Nomani, who has chronicled the battle over TJ admissions policies, described the circumstances that led to the charges. She reported a week ago that the CA’s office had filed to have the case nolle prossed. Medvin filed a motion to dismiss the charges, which the federal judge granted.

“The ‘woke’ ideology that is infecting our schools believes in the necessity of censorship, and that what group one belongs to is more important than who a person is as an individual. It is inherently un-American,” said Jackson, who praised RightDefense for supporting him.

“In my case, I had my First Amendment right of free speech threatened when I raised concern and awareness regarding child safety. At the behest of a ‘woke’ education activist, I was prosecuted for seven months in a blatant attempt to silence me and others like me. intervened and protected my rights and all of our rights as parents to speak up and protect our children.”

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that (a) the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney’s office had filed charges against Jackson, and that a U.S. District Court judge had dismissed them. Both statements were in error, and they have been corrected above. I apologize for the errors. — JAB