The entire Fairfax County, Virginia school board fled their own meeting on Thursday as Asian parents chanted that they were “racist,” following a federal judge’s ruling that the board broke the law by pushing Asians out of its magnet math and science school, and the board’s vow to appeal the ruling rather than reinstitute merit-based admissions to the school.
The Thomas Jefferson School For Science and Technology once had the highest math scores in the country, but after the school board determined that that was not “equitable,” they jettisoned the math test used for admission in favor of a process based on how “disadvantaged” students were. The result was that the famed school had to begin offering remedial math.
Asra Nomani, the India-born mother of a TJ student who was involved in the successful lawsuit, spoke at Thursday’s meeting, and told the board “For the last two years you have been trying to make us invisible, but a federal judge has ruled that in fact you are going to go down in history just like I told you you would, just like the school board in Brown vs. Board.”
“You are the new face of racism,” she said.
The school board’s high-priced law firm, Hunton Andrews Kurth, is the successor to Hunton & Williams, which fought to preserve segregation in cases that ultimately became Brown vs. Board, the case in which the Supreme Court struck down school segregation.
Nomani brought with her to the podium a stack of copies of Race To The Bottom, a new book by Daily Wire investigative reporter Luke Rosiak, which highlights anti-merit, anti-Asian school policies and chronicles the Fairfax school board in particular.
“I have here a copy of a book for each one of you, Race To The Bottom. And you are all in this book. A book for you Karen Corbett Sanders, a book for you Stella Pekarsky, a book for you Abrar Omeish,” she said, as the crowd erupted in cheers. “All of you have failed us. I have all of these books, I hope you read them from cover to cover and see yourself in the pages of history — as failures.”
A security guard then approached her, and a crowd of parents, including many immigrants, began shouting “Racist, racist, racist” at the board.
“I’d like the board to take a recess,” the board chair abruptly declared, and the members vacated their seats and scurried backstage.
“You have caused us pain. There are people here who have survived the Cultural Revolution. Yuyan stood in Tiananmen Square… I am a woman of color but you don’t care, do you. You’ll bring all of the white security guards… We, the Asians, don’t matter to you… We’re supposed to be the good, obedient Asians, that’s what you expect of us, don’t you. Especially women,” Nomani said.
The crowd of Asian moms chanted again: “Racist, racist, racist.”
One shouted, “Evil!”
“Your equity plan didn’t think about the Asians, did you. We were on the wrong side of brown for you,” Nomani said.
A security guard monitored Nomani after she returned to her seat. Nomani asked why he treated her, a five-foot tall woman, as a threat. “What did he think I was going to do, storm their wall?” she asked.
Another woman replied with a heavy accent and a laugh: “With the books.”
With the school board having abandoned their own meeting hall, the space became a forum for what one mom called “story time”: Nomani read from a chapter about the Fairfax County school board.
“In this new era, school board members took their seats to pursue a variety of agendas, none of which had to do with education,” she began reading.
But the school board wasn’t listening.