For years, the principal at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia has intentionally waited to distribute certificates to National Merit commended students and semi-finalists. October 31 is the deadline for students to note the awards on their applications for early acceptance to select colleges, and the awards were not distributed until November 14.
Principal Ann Bonitatibus reportedly has an "equal outcomes for every student, without exception" policy and reasons that notifying the recipients in time might have made those who did not win the prestigious award feel bad.
One parent and journalist, Asra Nomani, recently told "Fox & Friends First" that "the school wanted to recognize students as individuals, not their achievements -- as if the two had to be separated."
Her own son graduated from Thomas Jefferson high in 2021, and she learned that he was a National Merit commended student "two years after the fact."
Author Douglas Murray adds that classifying students is simply necessary at school.
"We'd like to look at the child as an individual, in the round, and not just on their achievements. Sorry, other people can do that," he says. "Home can do that, but at school, it's about your achievements."
Talk show host Richard Randall says the scheme may have cost the winning students -- who were robbed the chance to attend the top-level colleges for which they qualified -- thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a year.
"They are superior students," he points out. "They're in the top 3%, and the school doesn't even bother to tell them that when it's one of the most significant things that you could put on a college application."
He says wokeness is a dangerous thing, particularly in schools.
"Picture driving across a bridge where the people who did the physics and the equations don't know so much what they're doing because nobody wanted to hurt their feelings," Randall submits.
National Review reports that during the summer following the murder of George Floyd, Principal Bonitatibus emailed students and parents urging them to consider "the privileges you hold that others may not." In February 2022, a federal judge acknowledged that Thomas Jefferson High had altered its admissions processes to restrict the number of Asian Americans in a bid for "racial diversity."
According to Nomani, most of the students who had their award notification delayed were Asian.