Last Friday's (2/25/22) ruling from U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton found that impermissible "racial balancing" was at the core of the plan to overhaul admissions to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, located in Fairfax County.
"The school routinely ranks as the best or one of the best public schools in the country, and slots at the school are highly competitive," the Associated Press reports. "The overhauled admissions process scrapped a standardized test and set aside slots at middle schools across the county."
"It was done specifically to exclude kids by race," explains attorney Erin Wilcox of Pacific Legal Foundation, the law firm representing the parents who are suing over the policy. "It's a major victory that we hope will be heard around the country."
The county has 30 days from the day of the decision to decide to appeal. They are considering it, but officials have not committed one way or the other.
While this case has to do with one school district in Virginia, Wilcox says this issue is happening all over the country.
"We already have a few other cases like this in places like Montgomery County, Maryland and places like Boston and New York City, but we've been hearing from parents as far away as San Francisco and people in Seattle who are concerned about what's going on in their towns," the attorney relays.
"It's certainly raised a lot of interest," she adds.