See below for a letter sent on Wednesday from the Virginia PTA to the Thomas Jefferson (“TJ”) High School for Science and Technology PTSA, notifying the “TJ” PTSA of the following:
- The Virginia PTA “has received numerous communications from PTSA members, community members and leaders asking for Virginia PTA to intercede on their behalf in regard to the operations of both the current and previous Executive Committee and Board.”
- “The continuous lack of respect and disregard for the authority of Virginia PTA, its elected officers, our bylaws, founding principles and values is unacceptable“
- “Virginia PTA continues to receive requests for state intervention from TJHSST PTSA members who do not feel TJHSST PTSA is conducting business transparently or in the spirit of member approved bylaws.”
- “…the challenging and disrespect shown to the current President without adequate reason – other than having a majority vote – does not signify a board that respects the PTA Mission, Values, Purposes and Principles as provided in subsidiary bylaws.”
- “Virginia PTA is extremely concerned about how the current TJHSST PTSA leadership continues to imperil the reputation and viability of the association.”
- Virginia PTA cites the following reasons for its action against the “TJ” PTSA: “Failure to adhere to PTA values and principles”; “Creation of a climate that discourages parent engagement”; “Failure to seek general membership approval for advocacy initiatives”; “Campaigning Conflict of Interest”; “Failure to follow the Bylaws adopted by TJHSST PTSA membership”; “Conflict of interest and inappropriate representation of values and brand to the press”; “Bullying of elected officers and members who hold different views.”
- “As provided in Virginia PTA Bylaws Article 4: Relationship with National PTA, Virginia PTA, and Constituent Associations. Section 4, you are afforded the opportunity to respond to this notice.”
For some more background on this, see PTA clashes with education secretary on admissions change (“Parents at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology are fighting efforts from Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, who organized a task force to evaluate diversity issues at TJ and 18 other magnet schools in Virginia designated as ‘Governor’s Schools.'”); Fairfax County School Board Chooses “Holistic Review” as New Admissions Policy for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJ”); Audio: VA Secretary of Education Atif Qarni Argues for Changes in Admissions to Governor’s Schools to Increase Diversity; Says “It will only make these schools better”; Fairfax Co. school superintendent says revised admissions process at Thomas Jefferson already working; 2021-22 TJ PTSA Executive Committee Officer Election Posts; etc.
P.S. Does anyone know if there has ever been a case like this previously, where the Virginia PTA has moved against a local chapter in this way?