Carly Mayberry, Newsweek, April 8, 2022
A parent and former PTA president of Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson High School who opposed changes to its admissions policy, then faced libel and slander charges after claiming a proponent of those changes was engaging in “grooming behavior,” garnered a large legal win this week.
Harry Jackson on Friday saw a Fairfax County judge dismiss four charges of libel and slander with prejudice that were levied against him. RightDefense.org attorney Marina Medvin in Fairfax District Court represented Jackson.
“I would like to stress this point—what makes this case unique is that criminal charges were brought to suppress free speech. Criminal charges! Not a civil lawsuit but criminal charges. In this day and age I believe it is the only case of its kind,” said Medvin, who was retained on the case only a week ago. “This should never have happened. But a magistrate allowed it to happen—four times. And then a Soros-funded prosecutor allowed an innocent man to be criminally prosecuted for the duration of seven months.”
Jorge Torrico, a member of the advocacy organization the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Alumni Action Group, had previously promoted admissions that eliminated standardized testing requirements and written teacher recommendations.
It was after Jackson tweeted concern in November 2020 about the alleged “grooming behavior” of Torrico that accusations were launched at Jackson.
The school’s admission policies, which were revised in December, made admission less merit-based and were instead seen by some as “race-based.” The modifications, which resulted in a historically diverse class of students offered admissions for fall 2021, were also later found by a federal judge to discriminate against Asian-Americans.