Tag Archives: Asra Q. Nomani

TJ Math Teachers Note “Lowering of Standards”

by Asra Q. Nomani

On May 31, the public relations team at Fairfax County Public Schools scored a big “hit,” as it’s called in PR, getting the stories of four hand-selected students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology featured in a Washington Post article by education reporter Hannah Natanson, headlined: “Hear from four TJ freshmen admitted under controversial circumstances.”

In the article, Natanson disparaged a “a group of disgruntled parents” that filed a lawsuit against new race-based admissions changes to the school, even though a federal judge, Claude Hilton, ruled earlier this year that the changes are illegal, “patently unconstitutional” and anti-Asian. That would be like calling the Brown family in Brown v. Board of Education “disgruntled.”

Weaponizing innocent students for its PR, the school district used the article to try to vindicate the school board’s failed policies with America’s No. 1 high school. School board chair Stella Pekarsky shared the article on Facebook with the hashtag: #studentvoices. Continue reading

Grandparents Ask Supreme Court for Justice

Recommendation to readers: Be sure to delve deep enough into the story to read Asra Nomani’s personal story. She describes the values to which Asian-Americans owe their academic success. — JAB

by Asra Q. Nomani

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This past Friday, Dr. Mridula Kumari, 71, walked up the stairs to the U.S. Supreme Court, and soaked in the festive atmosphere on the sidewalk off 1st Avenue S.E. A band played, as children danced and women clapped, pumping their hands in the air to the beat, one woman in New Balance sneakers carrying a bag that read, “Our Rights. Our Future. Our Power. Our Courts.”

As war waged across the world in Ukraine, a people trying to defend their future, their rights, their nation, Dr. Kumari understood well the power of those words. The courts can protect the rights of the citizenry. The courts can pave a path to a better future. The courts can empower the citizenry.

She hoped these protections would also be extended to her granddaughter: a first-generation American and a seventh grader in Fairfax County Public Schools, across the Potomac River in the northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. As the daughter of immigrants from India, her granddaughter faces a new racism in America: an anti-Asian admissions process to schools, including Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a school fondly known as TJ. Continue reading

Steve Descano: Will “Not Prosecute” Harry Jackson

by Asra Nomani

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — An attorney from the office of Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano has filed a motion to nolle prosequi, Latin for “not prosecute,” Harry Jackson, a former U.S. Naval intelligence officer and father who has been a strong parent advocate against the war on merit education in this Washington, D.C., suburb.

A judge will hear the motion at a scheduled hearing on Friday, April 8, at 10 a.m. in Fairfax County District Court in Fairfax, Va.

In this truly bizarre case, chronicled fully here, a local woke activist, Jorge Torrico, filed four criminal complaints starting in September 2021 with the local magistrate, alleging that Jackson broke a little-used criminal law against “slander and libel,” by posting a tweet asserting that Torrico had engaged in “‘grooming’ behavior” during a November 2020 Zoom meeting of the PTSA at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Jackson has a son at the school. Torrico is a 1998 graduate of the school and does not have any children who attend the school. Continue reading

Prosecutor “Evaluating the Facts” in Virginia v. Anti-Woke Dad

Harry Jackson displays pornographic images taken from books in Fairfax County Public School libraries.

by Asra Q. Nomani

FAIRFAX, Virginia – A spokeswoman for Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano says the prosecutor’s office is “evaluating the facts” of four criminal cases that accuse a black father, Harry Jackson, of “slander and libel” for raising concerns that a local woke activist was engaging in “grooming behavior.”

I have evaluated “the facts,” and there is only one conclusion to be reached: Descano is engaging in prosecutorial overreach to intimidate a parent who has dared to challenge the all-Democratic school board in court for its racist, anti-Asian admissions changes to America’s No. 1 high school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, affectionally known as TJ.

The unprecedented criminal case, Commonwealth of Virginia v. Harry Randall Jackson, comes after the National Association of School Boards sent President Biden a letter on Sept. 29, 2021, accusing parents of engaging in “domestic terrorism,” leading to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland dispatching the FBI against parents in October 2022, even creating a terrorism threat tag, EDUOFFICIALS, to track incidents. Continue reading

We Won! Coalition for TJ Won Against Racism.

by Asra Q. Nomani

My hands are trembling as I share this news. We won! Two years of moral courage by parents from around the world with names like Suparna, Harry, Yuyan, Glenn, Marissa, Helen, Hemang. We won today. The American Dream won today. You won today.

Pacific Legal Foundation
Kate A. Pomeroy
Coalition for TJ
Asra Nomani

Alexandria, Virginia; February 25, 2022: Today, a federal judge ruled that Fairfax County school officials violated the law by changing admissions requirements at the nation’s top public school to deliberately reduce the number of Asian-American students enrolled.

Last March, a coalition of parents, students, alumni, and community members filed a lawsuit challenging admissions changes at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ). Continue reading

Fairfax County Bars Maggie, 9, and Max, 7, from School

by Asra Nomani

Brave mama bear Carrie Lukas walked two of her cubs, fourth grader, Maggie, 9, and first grader Max, 7, up to the front doors of Forestville Elementary School here in Fairfax County, Va., for another day at school, but an interim assistant principal barred the two young children entry into the school, citing the school district’s mandatory mask policy.

The refusal of educational services raises legal issues for new Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares because of state law that protects the right of children in the Commonwealth of Virginia to receive educational services and a new executive order by Youngkin allowing parents the right to choose if their children wear masks at school.

An officious security official for the school district and a community relations official for the school district, both dispatched to the school over the mask issue, tangled with a local reporter (and local father) whom they demanded stand on the nearby sidewalk. Later, school officials called Fairfax County Police and squad cars arrived, the school district posting a tweet that the police were called on the journalist, not the mother and her children. Continue reading

A Win! Va. Ed Dept Removes “Virginia Math Pathways Initiative”

by Asra Q. Nomani

Yes, Virginia, there is critical race theory in the state. Read our examples at Parents Defending Education. There were 20. Now, there are 19.

In their first week in office, Jillian Balow, the new Virginia superintendent of schools, and Elizabeth Schultz, the new Virginia assistant superintendent, have eliminated the Virginia Department of Education’s controversial “Virginia Math Pathways Initiative” that was set to eliminate accelerated math options for students.

The initiative outraged many parents for dumbing down math in the state and reducing advanced math courses for students prior to 11th grade, essentially blocking advanced learners from from moving forward in earlier grades. Continue reading

How to Discriminate by Race… Without Admitting You’re Discriminating by Race

New board emails, texts reveal “embarrassing” politics with “bonus points”

by Asra Q. Nomani

In fall 2020, Fairfax County, Va., school board members said the quiet part out loud.

As school district officials engineered race-based admissions changes to America’s No. 1 high school, to increase the numbers of Black and Hispanic students, school board member Abrar Omeish sent board member Stella Pekarsky a text, saying: “I mean there has been an anti asian feel underlying some of this, hate to say it lol,” using the acronym for “laughing out loud.”

Pekarsky, now the board chair, responded: “…I always told people that talking about TJ is a stupid waste of tome [sic].”

Omeish answered: “Of course it is…They’re discriminated against in this process too.”

The messages are part of months of emails and texts made public in a federal lawsuit by Coalition for TJ, a grassroots parent group, against the Fairfax County School Board, alleging anti-Asian racism in the new admissions policy to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, ranked America’s No. 1 high school by U.S. News and World Report. Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the Coalition for TJ, and has carried the mantle courageously for parents in New York City, waging a similar battle to protect merit-based education. Our Coalition for TJ parents are inspiring folks with names like Suparna, Hemang, Glenn, Helen, Harry and Yuyan — all with complicated stories of overcoming adversity in their lives. Continue reading

Accidental Activists

by Asra Q. Nomani

In most of our lives as mama bears and papa bears facing activists in a campaign for the soul of America’s children, we had a moment of awakening. A moment when we knew that we had to speak up.

Mine came on June 7, 2020, when Ann Bonitatibus, the principal of my son’s high school, told our mostly Asian, mostly minority, mostly immigrant parents that we needed to check our “privileges.”

I wanted to share our journey — including my journey — as accidental activists whom the National School Boards Association and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland started investigating for “domestic terrorism” in the fall of 2021.

My tips to you are very simple: be unapologetic, speak from the heart and document, document, document your evidence of the political corruption, indoctrination and bureaucratic shenanigans penetrating your school systems. Continue reading

Glenn Youngkin: America’s Parent Champion

by Asra Q. Nomani

Dear friends,

It is my honor to name our first recipient of our Parent Champion Award. We have established this award to honor someone who has gone above and beyond in championing the rights of parents in their children’s lives.

There is a parable that says “For such a time as this…” a leader emerges, prepared for the moment by all of that person’s life experiences before.

First, I want to ask you:

  • How many of you have felt alone—even scared — over the past year as you have tried to speak to your school boards?
  • How many of you have felt marginalized as you have tried to speak to school principals and teachers about concerns that you have in the classroom?
  • How many of you have been muted?
  • How many of you have lay in your bed, your head up on the pillow but your mind racing with thoughts of how to make sure your children get a proper education?

Just like you, a year and a half ago, on June 7, 2020, I became an accidental activist.

The principal at my son’s high school — Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology — told our mostly immigrant, mostly Asian parents that we needed to check our “privileges.” And with that label, our concerns were dismissed. Continue reading

Mama Bears Vs. the Feds

by Asra Q. Nomani

Last Thursday night, October 7, local grandma Orene Blum stood graceful and dignified, draped in red, white and blue here at Luther Jackson Middle School, moments before a meeting of the Fairfax County School Board, holding a hand-painted sign: “FBI vs. Moms??”

Hours later, as the crowd of 100 people spoke their truth to power, the verdict was in: Moms win. Continue reading

Porn in Fairfaxxx School Libraries

by Asra Q. Nomani

Last night, Thursday, September 23, a brave Fairfax High School mother, Stacy Langton, walked up to the podium at a regular meeting of the Fairfax County School Board, carrying with her two books and printouts from images in the books.

She had watched a Texas school board meeting at which parents read from two books that they had found in their school library — “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison and “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe. She looked for the books at Fairfax High School, and she found them at the school and throughout the county — available to minors as young as seventh grade, or as young as 12 years old, at Robinson Secondary School.

“The books were available, and we checked them out,” she recalled.

Continue reading

“Let Them Die” Redux

“Let them die” — words and applause heard around the world.

by Asra Nomani

Harry Jackson, the first Black president-elect of the PTSA at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, stood before a crowd of parents here at Luther Jackson Middle School last week to oppose the divisive ideology of critical race theory that has put forward flawed policies in K-12 schools across the country, including separating students into racial “affinity spaces” and eliminating merit admissions to TJ, America’s No. 1 high school.

Across the circular driveway, outside the front doors of the school, the first vice president of the Fairfax NAACP, Michelle Leete, stood in a counter protest, extolling the crowd of about 100 people gathered before her with a very different message.

Reading from a speech printed out on papers in her hand, Leete declared, “Let’s deny this off-key band of people that are anti-education, anti-teacher, anti-equity, anti-history, anti-racial reckoning, anti-opportunities, anti-help people, anti-diversity, anti-platform, anti-science, anti-change agent, anti-social justice, anti-healthcare, anti-worker, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-children, anti-healthcare, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-admissions policy change, anti-inclusion, anti-live-and-let live people.”

Then she punctuated her protest with this proclamation: “Let them die!” Continue reading

Combating the Great Awokening

Read about woke math in National Review.

by James A. Bacon

Outside of the People’s Republic of Charlottesville, Northern Virginia is the most lopsidedly Democratic region of Virginia. It is also the most woke, and it is pushing the so-called “equity” agenda in schools more aggressively than anywhere else in the state. But the educrats have over-reached, pushing too far, too fast, and much of the population is up in arms. Insurgent groups are popping up over Northern Virginia, mobilizing support through social media, raising money to take back school boards, and using investigative-journalism techniques to delve into topics that local media refuse to cover.

The Washington Post has covered the Great Awokening in Northern Virginia schools only anecdotally. The region’s dominant newspaper has devoted none of its investigative resources to probing school board machinations and excesses as it has with, say, racism at the Virginia Military Institute. Citizens have been on their own to figure out what is going on.

Fortunately, one of those citizens is Asra Nomani, a parent of a student at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology who became outraged by the Fairfax School system’s equity-driven assault on the school’s admissions practices. A former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, she fought back with the tactics she knew. Linking up with other super-savvy Northern Virginia moms to create Parents Defending Education (see the leadership team here) the India-born Nomani has wielded the Freedom of Information Act like a Gurkha kukri to hack out the story that the mainstream media has been unable or unwilling to tell. Continue reading

Judge: TJ Is for Gifted Students, But…

by Asra Q. Nomani

Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge John Tran denied a request by 15 local parents to force Fairfax County Public Schools to reinstate race-blind, merit-based admissions tests to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, America’s No. 1 high school, but clearly stood on the side of the parents in their noble defense of gifted education and the value of merit-based admissions.

The decision is a blow to the future of the school as a place that nurtures the area’s top science. technology, engineering and math students, as local educrats replace the test with an essential popularity contest, complete with scoring for students who best match a subjective “Portrait of a Graduate,” complete with race-based quotas and biases for life “experiences.”

But hundreds of local parents — most of them immigrant — scored a huge win for America in waging a months-long battle, complete with school board speeches, petitions, letters and direct action protests, in an effort that is not over. They overcame fear of retaliation and cultural traumas of coming from societies where speaking out is punishable by death.

Theirs is a victory for standing up for their belief in the American Dream. The judicial setback just proves that the war for America and its future will be a long one. Continue reading