LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — A Virginia university president apologized Tuesday for hosting a campus snowball fight over the weekend where dozens of attendees were seen unmasked and not following coronavirus precautions.
Liberty University Acting President Jerry Prevo said the school made “a mistake” by not enforcing coronavirus guidelines, which includes wearing face masks and practicing social distancing, news outlets reported.
“I messed up,” Prevo said in the statement. “We did not think through or communicate the need to wear facial coverings and remain 6 feet apart in compliance with Virginia Governor’s Executive Orders for the suppression of the spread of COVID-19 or even our own COVID-19 Operations Plan. And the size of the group was not in compliance either.”
Prevo organized the snowball scuffle through a Twitter post, encouraging students to join him at the center of the campus Sunday afternoon after a storm left 4 inches (10 centimeters) of fresh powder.
The event snowballed into community fury as since-deleted photos posted online showed some students clustered together and maskless.
Residents contacted local health officials to launch complaints against Liberty’s leadership and raise concern over the potential virus spread the event may cause, The News & Advance reported. At least 118 formal complaints about Liberty have been lodged with the Central Virginia Health District since Sunday, the paper reported.
Lindsey Lockewood, health district population health manager, said officials were aware oJudge declines to halt elite school’s admissions changes
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A judge on Tuesday refused to issue an injunction to stop an elite northern Virginia high school from changing its admissions policies.
Fairfax County Public Schools is overhauling the admissions process at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which has been ranked as the top public high school in the country.
The school board hopes the changes will increase diversity at the school, which has long failed to attract Black and Hispanic students. Standardized tests that have long been part of the admissions process have been scrapped in favor of a more holistic review.
Supporters of the existing system sued, citing state regulations designating TJ as a school for the gifted and stating that giftedness should be measured by a standardized test.
Circuit Court Judge John Tran declined to issue an injunction that would immediately bar the changes from taking effect, but the lawsuit itself can still go forward.
A conservative legal group is also weighing a challenge based on racial discrimination against Asian Americans who currently make up a majority of the student body.
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