The Virginia Parent Teacher Association has reinstated a former president of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology PTA after she was voted out.
Bonnie Qin, who was removed from the TJ PTA after a three to one vote, was reinstated along with other members who had resigned or been voted out. The VA PTA also placed the Thomas Jefferson based organization in a probationary phase that would prevent the removal of any board members or the filling of those positions without the approval of the VA PTA.
Members of the TJ PTA had expressed concern to the VA PTA about the ongoing distrust with the organization’s leadership. Petitions and emails had been sent to the VA PTA demanding action to be taken in the matter.
According to a letter sent to the organization by the VA PTA, while it believes there was cause to revoke the charter of the TJ PTA it would prefer instead to work with them to repair the bridges that have been burnt.
“We would prefer to work with TJHSST PTSA leadership to repair the damage done. We have decided to move TJHSST PTSA into the Probation Phase of Non-Compliance” according to a letter sent to the TJ PTA by the VA PTA.
In addition to parameters set regarding the TJ PTA’s board, the VA PTA set ground rules for the organization’s probationary period which includes improving communication with the PTA’s membership and addressing their concerns, having members sign conflict-of-interest forms, setting up processes and procedures for meeting and providing notice for special meeting, and to obtain the services of a certified parliamentarian to help with these issues.
In addition to all this, the VA PTA is requiring that two members of a support team to help with the probationary period be present at all regular and special meetings of the TJ PTA and for the members to have a voice in the proceedings as well.
This comes after weeks of allegations and accusations that led to Qin being ousted from her post, Qin would have remained as TJ PTA president through the 2021-2022 school year until her term expired in June 2022. The effort to push Qin out had been led by the organization’s President-Elect Harry Jackson who would have sat behind Qin until the end of her term.
Among the reasons Jackson had given for Qin’s removal included were restricting access to records and preventing communication between the TJ PTA’s executive committee and the organization’s membership.
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has been at the center of recent tumult regarding a change in their admissions process, the teaching of race in the curriculum, as well as closely contested elections within the TJ PTA.